Why oh why can they not find someone who is willing to put up a good fight?
Massachusetts Republican Party officials, down to their last chance to find a credible candidate, are working to persuade Essex Sheriff Frank G. Cousins Jr. to run against US Senator Edward M. Kennedy next year.
In a behind-the-scenes effort, state GOP leaders have spent over a month talking with Cousins about launching what most political observers say would very likely be a futile mission against Kennedy, who has talked of running a hard-edged campaign to retain the seat he has held since 1962.
Cousins this week confirmed that he was in discussions with party officials, but he downplayed his interest in the race.
”It would be a massive undertaking and I don’t know if I want to do that,” said the 47-year-old former Republican state representative from Newburyport. If he declines to run, party officials say they are unlikely to find a potential GOP candidate who they feel could mount an effective challenge to Kennedy.