When word got out Tuesday night that Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr is considering a run to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat, the reaction on Cape Ann was swift.
By Wednesday morning, Cape Ann residents and political leaders were expressing their support for a Tarr run and volunteering to join the effort.
Yet Tarr said Wednesday he still needs time to think about the option, reiterating that he will announce by Monday whether he will seek the seat that opened when John Kerry was appointed Secretary of State. While the decision hinges on factors including a compressed campaigning period, Tarr said the idea of leaving his seat as Cape Ann’s senator is also a consideration.
“I love the role I have currently,” Tarr said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I am unwaveringly committed to the people of Cape Ann and the people of our district and our state. (But) one of the reasons that I would do this is if I thought I would be more effective in contributing at that level than I can be now.”
Cape Ann Republicans and Democrats alike Wednesday were urging Tarr to plunge into the challenge, hoping the minority leader, often praised for his work across the aisle, will emerge as a bipartisan leader in Washington D.C., too.
Rockport Selectman Paul Murphy, a self-described “lifelong Democrat,” said he and likely many others who check the Democratic box on voter registration cards would line up behind Tarr.
”I’m so thrilled that he’s representing us, but he’s a bipartisan guy who continues to look for the common ground,” Murphy said. “He is everything, in my mind, that we need in Washington.”
John “Gus” Foote, a former longtime Gloucester city councilor and longtime Republican who crossed party lines to endorse Congressman John Tierney last fall, said he values Tarr for much more than just his Republican label.