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McKee's Play

Political insiders say Cumberland Mayor Daniel J. McKee is still seriously weighing a run for Congress. And with other potential candidates for Patrick Kennedy's seat falling by the wayside in recent days - former Congressman Bob Weygand, State Representative Ed Pacheco, and investment banker Nick Pell - his potential candidacy becomes all the more intriguing.

The big question, of course, is whether he can raise the money required to compete with Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline and former state party chairman Bill Lynch in the Democratic primary. But if he is able to pile up the contributions, he can carve out an interesting niche as the big-ideas innovator - he is the public face of a new kind of charter school known as a "mayoral academy."

In an anti-establishment year, he can paint Lynch and Cicilline as the party insiders. He competes with Lynch for Blackstone Valley votes and, positioning Cicilline as a big-city liberal, takes his centrist appeal to the suburban swaths of the district.

There may be others in the race, too, though. The latest speculation - Red Sox exec Jeremy Kapstein, who has signaled interest in a run for lieutenant governor, pours his money into a Congressional race instead.

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