The GOP count of declared candidates scouring the Commonwealth for signatures entered the day at three: the obscure Jon Fetherston, the unseen Gabriel Gomez, and the earnest Dan Winslow.
We also entered the day with rumors that former US Attorney Michael Sullivan was poised to enter the race. A "draft Michael Sullivan" movement has been gathering signatures, but it was unclear whether they were doing so on his behalf.
Today Sullivan put out a press release announcing that "he is considering a run for U.S. Senate and that volunteers statewide have
already begun collecting the necessary signatures to qualify him for the
ballot." Curiously, he says in the release that he will attempt to gather the signatures by volunteer effort -- as opposed to paying signature-gathering firms, as Gomez and Winslow are doing -- even though he has been advised that doing so at this point "is impossible." He will run if that effort is successful, but until then he won't be opening a campaign account and raising or spending money.
I don't really know what's going on behind the scenes, but it seems to me that this is not running; it's getting talked into giving a shout-out to the nice people doing the flattering 'draft you' project. But, maybe there's a more clever and diabolical scheme here than I can detect.
Meanwhile, news broke today that Sean Bielat -- the future answer to the trivia question: "who was the first person President Joe Kennedy III beat in a general election?" -- had filed FEC papers and entered the race. That has been walked back a bit; I spoke with his former press secretary, who has spoken with Bielat twice today, and the upshot is that Bielat opened an exploratory committee so that he could legally do a few things to look into the possibility of running. So, we'll see how that goes.
And state senate minority leader Bruce Tarr has just put out a statement saying that he has decided not to run for US Senate. In the statement he talks about the Very Important Work he needs to do in the state senate. As far as I know, the work of a Republican state senator is to take your turn with the other three, to be the one who sits in the chamber to ensure that the Democrats don't try to slip something through by concensus while nobody's paying attention. But maybe there's more to it.
Anyway, I think we might be nearing the end of the "who wants to run" guessing game; now we'll see who of the Fetherston-Gomez-Winslow-Sullivan-Bielat crew can come up with 10,000 valid signatures by two weeks from today. Good luck guys!