The Campaign Spot

Jeff Perry, Not Running for Congress in 2012

His new job is generating a bit of controversy, but I’m more interested in Jeff Perry’s disinclination for another political campaign in 2012:

Jeffrey D. Perry, the former state representative who narrowly lost in a hard-fought campaign for Congress last year, has been appointed by a fellow Republican to the position of special sheriff of Barnstable County.

In assuming the $110,000-a-year post yesterday, Perry, of Sandwich, became the top assistant to James M. Cummings, the elected Barnstable County sheriff since 1998. The position had been vacant for two years.

Cummings, 61, a Republican, is a friend and political supporter of Perry’s, having contributed to Perry’s campaigns since 2002, when he first ran successfully for state representative. Cummings said in an interview that he chose Perry for the position because of Perry’s broad experience on Beacon Hill, as a former police officer, and as an attorney.

Perry fills a slot that has gone vacant for two years at a time of shrinking resources at the sheriff’s department because of budget cuts. Perry acknowledged that the position could be helpful if he ran again for elective office, but he ruled out a another campaign for Congress in 2012.

Perry appeared to be the Republican most likely to win a Massachusetts House seat in many years, but fell short in an open-seat race against Bill Keating, garnering 42 percent to Keating’s 47 percent.

Considering how the presidential campaign (and the reelection bid of Scott Brown) should bring out the Bay State’s Democrats, and how so many promising GOP candidates fell short here in what looked like a good year for the GOP in 2010, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see fewer Massachusetts Republicans running in 2012.

UPDATE: A reader reminds me that Massachusetts loses a House district in redistricting this year. Unless a member retires, two Democrat incumbents will be up against each other.


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