Former Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei -- the popular Republican who ran against Democratic Congressman John Tierney for the seat in 2012 -- has formed an exploratory committee and filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission for a potential 2014 run for that seat.
"The critical challenges facing our country have not diminished since 2012," Tisei said Monday. "Rather, they seem to be getting worse. The hyper-partisanship exhibited by both parties on a daily basis has created a stranglehold on our government and is preventing us from moving forward."
Tisei would likely enter a different game in 2014, however. On one hand, he could benefit from the overwhelming public loathing toward Congress in the wake of the government shutdown. On the other hand, that government shutdown has resulted in poll after poll showing the Republicans at record-high disapproval numbers.
Tisei seems to be betting on the former to overcome the latter.
"We are a great country, but we clearly have reached a point where we need new leadership and a fresh start," Tisei said. "We need more responsible Republicans and fewer divisive Democrats in Washington who are willing to stop the name calling, put party aside, and begin to seriously work together to do what is right for America."
Tierney would face a different game in 2014 as well. Even with progressive Democrats rallying to the ballot for President Barack Obama and then-candidate Elizabeth Warren, Tisei had impressive numbers in many communities in the 6th District. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district, but without the huge voter turnout of a presidential election, the minority party has an advantage.
Tierney also faces a Democratic primary challenger -- former Marine Seth Moulton of Salem and Marblehead -- and a primary race tends to eat away at general election funding and steam.
And, oh yeah, people really hate Congress these days.
Democrats have wasted no time in attacking Tisei's potential candidacy, once again linking the moderate Tisei to far-right conservatives in the tea party faction of the GOP.
“Shutting down the government and threatening our economic recovery was not enough for Richard Tisei and the Tea Party, now they want to force the same recklessness and irresponsible brinksmanship on Massachusetts," Marc Brumer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement immediately following Tisei's announcement Monday. "Voters have already rejected Richard Tisei and the Tea Party’s attempt to add another reliable rubberstamp to its ranks and they won’t be fooled this time around either."
Yeah, it's gonna be one of those again.