- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Capitol’s Kennedy drought may not last long.

Less than a year after Rhode Island Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy stepped down — bringing to an end a 49-year span of Kennedys serving on Capitol Hill — another member of the political dynasty announced this week he is considering a run for Congress

Joseph P. Kennedy III, the 31-year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and now a Massachusetts prosecutor, told the Boston Globe he is “seriously considering” a run next year for the 4th District congressional seat being vacated by the retiring Rep. Barney Frank.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to give it a whole lot of thought, but I will give it some thought in the coming days and weeks,” Mr. Kennedy told the newspaper just two days after Mr. Frank’s surprise announcement that he would not seek a 17th term in the redrawn district.

While a number of Democrats are eyeing the race, the possibility of a run by Mr. Kennedy, whose father, Joseph P. Kennedy II, served in the House in the 1980s and 1990s, has Bay State Democrats buzzing.

The young prosecutor would “be a great candidate,” Philip W. Johnston, former chairman of the state Democratic Party, told Yahoo News.

Other Democrats predict a Kennedy campaign would energize the party base, especially with one of the country’s hottest 2012 races at the top of the ballot — the expected Senate showdown between incumbent Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown and former Obama administration adviser Elizabeth Warren.

With the death in 2009 of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and the retirement just over a year later ofPatrick Kennedy, the city of Washington for the first time since 1947 has no member of the iconic political family serving either on Capitol Hill or in the White House.

That 64-year span included John F. Kennedy’s time in the House, Senate and White House; the Senate terms of his brothers, Robert and Edward; and the House terms of the late president’s nephews — RFK’s sonJoseph P. Kennedy II and Ted Kennedy’s son, Patrick.

Joseph P. Kennedy III was also the subject of political speculation in 2010, when Democrats were looking for a replacement for the retiring Rep. William Delahunt in the state’s 10th District, a race eventually won by then-Norfolk County District Attorney Bill Keating.

The race would by no means be a cakewalk for Mr. Kennedy, who currently does not live within the boundaries of Mr. Frank’s redrawn district,

Former Senate candidate Alan Khazei, state Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem of Newton and Boston city councilor Michael P. Ross have all expressed interest in the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, Mr. Frank’s 2010 challenger, Sean Bielat, a defense contractor executive, is considering another run and Elizabeth Childs, a former Massachusetts Department of Mental Health commissioner, had already announced she was running before Mr. Frank’s announcement.

Some Republicans are even talking about the possibility of a surprise entry by former Red Sox World Series hero Curt Schilling, who has a house in the district and has made no secret of his Republican leanings in the overwhelmingly Democratic state. Mr. Schilling endorsed former President George W. Bush in 2004 and the presidential bid of Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008.