State Senator Daniel Wolf, a Harwich Democrat, has confirmed with the Cape Cod Times that he won’t see re-election in 2016.
The newspaper first reported that the 58-year-old wouldn’t run in October, but this is the first time the state senator has publicly discussed his political future.
The question now is whether or not Wolf, founder of regional airline Cape Air, will make a run for the gubernatorial office.
Wolf made an abortive run for the post in the last election. And stepping away from the state Senate would have its advantages; Beacon Hill has not been a good launching pad for the corner office of late.
But if Wolf leaves the door open to a run for higher office, as expected, that doesn’t mean political ambition had anything to do with his decision to step down at the end of his term.
Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, in comments to reporters in October, suggested the strains of overseeing Cape Air while working in the Senate played a role.
“He’s got a very big and successful business and a lot of people rely upon him,” Rosenberg said. “He’s just been pulled in two different directions and he had to make a choice for himself and his family.”
In the meantime, Cape Cod politicos are focused on who might run to replace Wolf. On the Democratic side, there’s been talk of Barnstable County Commissioner Sheila Lyons and Brewster Selectman Ben deRuyter mounting runs. State Representative Brian Mannal, of Barnstable, tells the Globe he’ll decide by Thanksgiving on a possible campaign.
Republican Ron Beaty, who ran against Wolf last year, has suggested he may run again. And State Representative Timothy Whelan, a Brewster Republican whose district overlaps with Wolf’s, says other GOPers are weighing a race. Whelan, though, is not among them.
Republicans like Governor Charlie Baker and former US Senator Scott Brown have had some success in the district. But observers say the Democratic nominee will have some built-in advantages in a presidential election year, when left-leaning voters tend to come to the polls in larger numbers than off years.