State Rep. Tom Conroy bows out of Massachusetts Senate race

The number of candidates in the Democratic primary field was widled down further yesterday, when State Rep. Tom Conroy  declared that he will be ending his campaign to be the party’s nominee in next year’s Massachusetts Senate race.  Instead, Conroy says he will  run for a fourth term to his seat in the Massachusetts House, where he represents the communities of Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland which comprise the 13th Middlesex District.

News of the former Washinton D.C Foreign Policy aide turned private sector consultant turned state politician’s departure from the race came Monday morning in the form of a letter posted on his campaign website.

Through October and November, I delivered a strong and clear message about who I am, why I was running, and why I could win. I continued to learn about the concerns and hopes of voters throughout Massachusetts. Your stories, ideas and suggestions inspired me. Your generous contributions of time, talent and treasure empowered our team to continue efforts to win back the US Senate seat for the future of Massachusetts. However after much reflection, it is clear that, while support for my candidacy has been generous, we could not run the kind of campaign we needed to run throughout next year.

With deep gratitude and a still strong commitment to a winning path forward for all, I am withdrawing from the race for U.S. Senate.

Later in the morning at a press conference in front of the State capitol, where he officially ended his bid and later endorsed Democratic front runner Elizabeth Warren, he reportedly said that the enthusiasm she generated, fund raising success, and name recognition; were all obstacles too large for him to compete against in the primary.

In June,  Conroy entered a crowded, but largely unknown Democratic field vying to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown in next year’s general election, as he seeks his first full-term after winning  an upset victory in the Jan 2010 special election to fill the seat vacated by the death of longtime U.S Senator Edward M Kennedy (D-MA), who died in August 2009.

He never emerged as a serious front runner in the field, though reports state that Conroy had the third largest campaign treasury of the seven others in the Democratic contest, having raised a total of $117,779 with $50,000 of cash on hand remaining as of this past September, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, being outpaced only by Warren’s haul of $3,155,270 and former candidate City Year founder Alan Khazei with $1,299,629.

Conroy was perhaps best known over the five and a half months of his campaign, for his long walk across the state,  logging 650 miles while conversing with voters and generating support for his candidacy.

The entry of Warren into the primary in late September however, altered the nature of the race . Despite having never run for public office, the former Harvard Law Professor and Obama administration special adviser, with her outspoken criticisms of Wall Street lending practices and  reputation as the chief force pushing for the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  (CFPB), rode a wave of support from and fundraising by national progressive activists, vaulting her into the lead.

Conroy is the fourth contender to pull out of the primary race. Newton Mayor Setti Warren, no relation to Elizabeth Warren, former Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor Bob Massie, and  City Year founder Alan Khazei, all pulled out earlier this Fall.

Though Warren’s path to the nomination is clear in the minds of observers, she still faces three candidates for the nomination. Attorney James C King, Immigration Attorney Marisa DeFranco of Middleton, and Newton engineer Herb Robinson, all remain in the race. But many will likely have trouble generating enough support to get on the ballot for the Democratic Primary election, set for next September. Brown faces no Republican challenger.

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