This just in from the Boston Globe: 14-year incumbent U.S. Representative Bill Delahunt, D-Quincy, will not seek reelection to an 8th term this fall.
This makes Delahunt the 18th house Democrat to retire so far this cycle.
We can expect a very competative race to succeed Rep Delahunt this year, because MA-10 is the state's most conservative congressional district. Obama won it 55-44, while Sen. Scott Brown won it just weeks ago with a stunning 60-40 spread.
The Republicans for their part already have a credible candidate in the race, State Rep. Jeff Perry of Sandwich (on Cape Cod) http://www.jeffperryforcongress.com/
Perry is a decent candidate. He's a strong retail campaigner who took down a Democratic incumbent in the State House of Representatives in 2002. But there have been rumers swirling since Scott Brown's victory that even bigger Republican fish might take a swing at the seat if Delahunt leaves, including former State Treasurer Joe Malone of Scituate and State Senator Bob Hedlund of Weymouth. http://www.bobhedlund.com/
Rest assured, though, the MA Democratic Party, now awakened by the Brown debacle, will not let this seat go without a fight. Democratic State Senator Rob O'Leary of Barnstable ( http://www.senatoroleary.com/ ) is probably our strongest candidate here, and lucky, he's already announced that he will run if Delahunt does not.
O'Leary, who has been in the senate 10 years, is a former Barnstable County Commissioner (Barnstable county is contiguous with Cape Cod, but not the islands) and professor of History at the Mass. Maritime Academy.
O'Leary is solid on the issues, has a strong record in the Senate to run on, and, notably, is the first Democrat to represent Cape Cod in the MA Senate since the Civil War. His Senate district, which overlaps 100% with MA-10, encompasses what is generally considered the most conservative part of the congressional district.
I expect it will be a fight to hold this seat for team blue, especially this year. A lot will depend on who the respective candidates are, and their quality. I know we can hold this seat though, and I think in the end we will.
Get ready to see a whole lot of MA-10 race tracker posts though, because this is going to be one wild ride.