As the minority leader who first entered the Senate in 1995, Tarr is the primary spokesman for the four Republicans in the 40-member body. A frequent voice in debates, Tarr challenges Senate Democrats to explain their reasoning while also gaining support for his own proposals, as in the most recent debate on joint rules where several Republican-led amendments were adopted.
Tarr has also spoken out about waste at the MBTA, in the state’s welfare program and against Gov. Deval Patrick’s $1.9 billion tax proposal to pay for transportation and education, priorities that Tarr said he would not abandon if he chooses to run for higher office.
“I will never lose focus on the task at hand, for a potential higher office, and I don’t intend to compromise on that one bit,” Tarr said.
Tarr said his rumination on a run for Senate was spurred by Brown’s decision not to run, which Brown announced last week. Tarr was assistant minority leader during Brown’s final years in the state Senate as well.
“Senator Brown said, ‘I’m going to Washington to represent the people of Massachusetts,’ and I think he did that,” Tarr said. “He took some votes that were controversial and irritated some folks in Massachusetts and certainly some folks, perhaps, in the Republican Party.”
On Tuesday, Rep. Dan Winslow, R-Norfolk, announced the launch of an exploratory committee to weigh a run for Senate, while Democratic Congressmen Stephen Lynch, of South Boston, and Ed Markey, of Malden, have already begun campaigning for the seat, which will be decided in April 30 primaries and a June 25 general election.
Beverly Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman, who also mounted a challenge and drew more than 16,000 votes in the 6th District congressional race between Tireney and Tisei, announced Tuesday that he, too, is seeking the Senate seat.