[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/10/art.cardbush.gi.jpg caption="Andrew Card, the former chief of staff to President Bush, said Wednesday he'll likely run for the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat."](CNN) - Andrew Card, the former chief of staff to President Bush, said Wednesday he'll likely run for the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat that was held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy for more than four decades.
Card, a Massachusetts native who served four terms as a state representative in the late 1970s and early 1980s, told reporters the chances of him running for the seat are "much better than 50 percent," according to the Boston Globe.
The comments came at a Republican state committee meeting Wednesday evening, during which Card said he had "a phenomenal desire" to run, but expressed concern his wife - a Methodist minister in Virginia - might have to leave her job as a result.
"I am not going to ask my wife to leave her church," he said.
Republican State Sen. Scott Brown has also expressed interest in running for the seat, but said Thursday he would back off should Card decide to launch his own bid. At Thursday's GOP committee hearing, Brown also actively encouraged his colleagues to support the former Bush insider.
"If you want to talk about a person that can bring back the bacon to Massachusetts, it's this guy right here," he said of Card, according to the Globe. "I am going to encourage all of you to support Andy and encourage him to run."
Card, a well-known figure in Massachusetts and a veteran Washington hand who has served three GOP presidents, was well-regarded by Republicans and Democrats alike when he served as Bush's chief of staff, a post he left in 2006.
But he is perhaps most well known as the man who informed Bush the country was under attack on September 11, 2001, when the former president was reading to school children in Florida. Card said he would make a formal decision about the race after observing the upcoming eight-year anniversary of that day.
At the committee meeting Wednesday, Card downplayed the notion his background as a Bush insider might make it especially difficult to run in one of the most Democratic-leaning states, saying, "I’m Andy Card. I’m not George W. Bush.’’
“I didn’t agree with every decision he made,’’ he also said. “I respected how he made his decisions."
On the Democratic side, state attorney general Martha Coakley has already announced she is running for the seat. Reps. Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano have also taken formal steps to enter the race.