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Ex-Mass. Gov. Weld won't run for Senate

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld will not run for the Senate, the latest Republican to decline a bid for the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry.

“While I am grateful for the kind expressions of support and encouragement which I have received, I will not be a candidate for United States Senator from Massachusetts in the special election this year,” Weld said in a statement released Monday.

Weld -- who currently works for the M.L. Strategies in Boston, the government relations and consulting arm of the Mintz Levin law firm -- ran for the Senate in 1996 as the Republican nominee -- and lost to Kerry.

Weld follows former Sen. Scott Brown (R) in declining a run. Brown bowed out of consideration Friday and is widely believed to be mulling a bid for governor next year.

The Boston Herald reported that Mitt Romney's son Tagg is thinking about a run, but insiders don't believe that is likely.

Most believe Brown's exit all but clears the path for the winner of the Democratic primary between Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch.

Other potential Republicans talked about:

- Former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey
- state Rep. Dan Winslow
- former state Rep. Karyn Polito
- FOX News contributor/talk show host Dr. Keith Ablow
- Gabriel Gomez, ex-Navy SEAL