(CNN) - A second Massachusetts Republican has announced he will not seek the U.S. Senate seat vacated last week by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Richard Tisei, a former state senator and 2012 candidate for the U.S. Congress, said in a statement late Saturday that “the timing is simply not right for me.”
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He stepped aside without delay and one day after former Republican Sen. Scott Brown announced he would sit this race out so that “other potential candidates would be able to consider whether they should run,” he said.
Two Democrats – Rep. Ed Markey and Rep. Stephen Lynch – have announced their bids. Markey is the longest-serving member of the Massachusetts delegation to Washington and has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s widow and Kerry himself.
But Republicans have no declared candidates. Brown was considered by some the best chance for Republicans to win the seat.
Two potential Republican contenders include former Gov. William Weld and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healy, said a Republican strategist who lives in Boston and who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely.
Brown won a Senate seat in the 2010 special election following Kennedy’s death but lost his bid for a full term to Elizabeth Warren in November. Had he run in this spring’s special election, it would have been his third run for the Senate in less than five years.
The general election will be held June 25 following an April primary. Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, has appointed his former chief of staff, William "Mo" Cowan, to the seat in the meantime.
Tisei very narrowly lost his race for the 6th Congressional District last year. Incumbent Democrat John Tierney won re-election to a ninth term by about 3,600 votes out of over 350,000 cast, according to unofficial results.
In his statement, he encouraged others to get into the race.
“We have many talented people from all walks of life who should get involved in the political system to bring about change. The political class ought not be a select few,” he said. “That's part of the reason that we're in such a mess and that our political system has become dysfunctional. …”
“I look forward to continuing my involvement and to supporting strong, principled, independent-minded candidates who may choose to run for this and other offices.”
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report