Democrat Warren Tolman is considering a campaign to unseat Republican Senator Scott Brown next year.
Tolman refused to say if those people are dissatisfied with the current field, which doesn't include any of the better-known politicians in Massachusetts. Those who have already declared include Newton Mayor Setti Warren, City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, former lieutenant governor candidate Bob Massie, and Salem immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco.
"I think there's some people who think I would be a good candidate and add something to the mix, and I think there's some people who look at the incumbent and think I could do better," Tolman said.
The former state representative and state senator counted himself in that group, adding: "I don't want to get into the specifics of issues and the like, but I guess a part of it is I had a lot of respect and admiration for Ted Kennedy, and there's a clear contrast between the vision that Ted Kennedy brought to the US Senate and that which Scott Brown brings."
Brown replaced the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy after winning a special election in January 2010. Next fall he will be seeking his first full six-year Senate term.
Asked about his timetable for making a decision, Tolman said: "I’m just starting down the path to evaluate what the opportunity and potential is, and that involves evaluating the political as well as the professional and the personal.”
Tolman, 51, is perhaps best known today as a political commentator on WFXT-TV, Boston's Fox affiliate. He has been paired with Republican strategist Rob Gray for roughly seven years.
But Tolman served in the state House from 1991 to 1995, and then in the Senate from 1995 to 1999. He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1998 on a ticket with then-Attorney General Scott Harshbarger. He then ran himself for governor in 2002, losing the nomination to fellow Democrat Shannon O'Brien.
Tolman now holds the title "of counsel" with the Boston law firm Holland & Knight. His brother Steven is a state senator based in Brighton.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.