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Republican considers a run for US Senate

Selectman takes moderate stance

Brian J. Herr described himself as a “responsible, respectful Republican.”

Republican Brian J. Herr, a Hopkinton selectman, said Tuesday that he is “seriously considering” a run for US Senate this year against Democrat Edward J. Markey, who won a special election for the seat and currently has no declared opponents.

Herr, 51, said he is “doing a lot of due diligence right now to make sure we have pieces of the puzzle aligned” and indicated he would make a decision in the coming weeks.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, he took one small swipe at the senator.

“I will never vote present for anything that would come before me as a US senator, were I to run,” he said, referring to Markey’s vote in September on a measure giving President Obama the authority to use military force in Syria.


Markey won a special election in June to complete John F. Kerry’s term. Kerry resigned to become secretary of state. Markey beat GOP nominee Gabriel E. Gomez by 10 percentage points.

Gomez recently said he would not run for office in 2014.

Markey aides said he will officially kick off his reelection campaign later this year.

An account executive who works in technical sales in the commercial construction industry, Herr described himself as “a reasonable, responsible, respectful Republican.”

He stuck to the socially moderate, economics-focused message that has marked the campaigns of successful statewide GOP candidates in recent decades.

Herr said the government ought to run more like the private sector and should not dictate “how we live our lives.”

He said he supports gay marriage and abortion rights and the Second Amendment.

On gun control, an issue that played an outsize role in Markey’s Senate race, Herr said he supports expanding federally mandated background checks for gun buyers and rejects the National Rifle Association’s argument on the issue.

But Herr declined to take a hard stance on a federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.


“If the only solution is an absolute ban on assault weapons, I would support it, but I don’t know if that’s the only solution,” he said.

Were he to run, Herr said, his campaign’s most important issue would be bringing leadership to the Capitol.

“We have debt ceiling fights, we have government shutdowns. . . . There is no fiscal management in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

He expressed disappointment with lawmakers there.

“They react, they respond, they panic, they have hissy fits with each other,” he said. “From my perspective, the process is managing the elected officials; it should be the exact opposite.”

He said he supports term limits and said that it is time for “new ideas, a new approach to governing in the United States.”

On foreign policy, Herr said, generally speaking, he supports diplomacy first.

If he runs, it will not be Herr’s first bid for federal office. In 2010, he made an unsuccessful run for the GOP nomination to the seat held by US Representative James P. McGovern.

Outside politics, Herr, a married father of five children, is an avid skier and runner. He said he is training for his 25th consecutive Boston Marathon run in support of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Asked whether he would put any of his own money into the race, he chuckled, said he would have to speak with his wife, and added that with five children, there is “not a lot of money lying around.”


In a statement to the Globe, Markey said he was looking forward to running for reelection “and continuing to fight to create more jobs, keep guns off the streets of our neighborhoods, and protect our environment today and for future generations.”

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.