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January 19, 2013

Lt. Gov. Murray opts out of Mass. governor's race

BOSTON (AP) — Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray’s surprise announcement that he would not seek the governor’s office in 2014 promised to further reshape the political landscape in Massachusetts even as the state prepared for a likely special election for the U.S. Senate.

It had been widely believed that Murray was laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run, despite some setbacks including a 2011 car crash in which he was cited for speeding and not wearing a seat belt. Through December, the Democrat had raised $447,000 for his campaign account, more than any other statewide official, and had made little secret of his interest in succeeding Gov. Deval Patrick.

Murray also enjoyed the strong backing of Patrick, who said Friday he’d have been “all in” for his lieutenant governor had he chosen to run.

But in a letter to supporters, the 44-year-old Murray said family obligations led him to rethink the race.

He said he had grappled for months with how he could juggle the demands of a campaign with his responsibilities to his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 7.

“You’re committing to six years of your life, 24/7,” Murray told reporters in Worcester, referring to a two-year campaign and four-year term as governor if elected.

“At this point in my life and my family (I’m) not going to do that,” added Murray, who also ruled out running for any other statewide office next year.

John Walsh, executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic party, said Murray’s decision throws the governor’s race wide open.

“If he had decided to run, with the full support of Governor Patrick, Tim would have been a formidable entry in the field,” Walsh said in statement. “With both the Governor’s and Lt. Gov’s offices now open in 2014, I’m looking forward to spirited primaries that will highlight the deep pool of talent in the Massachusetts Democratic Party.”

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