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Race to replace Linda Dorcena Forry taking shape

State Representative Russell Holmes, who had been seriously considering jumping into the race, said Thursday he will not compete for the post.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe/File 2012

Two state representatives are inching closer to declaring they will run to replace former state senator Linda Dorcena Forry — while two more lawmakers declined to enter the special election.

State Representatives Evandro Carvalho, a Dorchester lawyer, and Nick Collins, a South Boston resident who narrowly lost a Democratic primary to Dorcena Forry five years ago, will probably compete for the seat, according to people close to both lawmakers.

The battle for the seat began to shake out Thursday afternoon after state Representative Russell Holmes, who had been seriously considering the race, said he will not compete for the post.

“It’s not a good time to stop everything I’m doing,’’ Holmes said in an interview.


Holmes, a financial planner from Mattapan, said he is settling into his new post at Baystate Financial after leaving Ameriprise Financial in November and felt he could not take an extended leave to campaign.

Also Thursday, state Representative Dan Cullinane also announced via Twitter that he will stay in his seat and “focus all of my energy on doing the job I love, serving the residents of Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Milton as their full-time state representative.”

Cullinane said he was grateful for the outpouring of support and encouragement from people urging him to run.

Dorcena Forry, the highest-ranking elected black official in Massachusetts, resigned last month, midway through her two-year term, to take a job with Suffolk Construction Co., stunning the Democratic establishment and creating a scramble for her successor in the First Suffolk Senate district.

The district stretches from Mattapan north to the Seaport and includes South Boston and Dorchester. Holmes said 67 percent of the district’s population are people of color.

A former president of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, Holmes said he and members of the caucus believe that the Senate race will have a strong candidate of color.


“We believe that the status quo is no longer acceptable,’’ Holmes said, noting the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements. “Our voices need to be in this race [and] . . . in every race, particularly in districts of color.’’

The primary for the seat is April 3, and the special election is May 1.

Meghan E. Irons can be reached at meghan.irons@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.