The Washington Times - January 12, 2012, 03:52PM

A week after Joseph P. Kennedy III said he was mulling a run to replace Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts  Democrat who is retiring, would-be primary challengers are beginning to step aside.

Democratic state Sen. Marc Pacheco, who had considered running for the seat, said this week that he won’t jump into the race and instead will back Mr. Kennedy. And Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan also said this week he would stay put and not seek the Democratic nomination.


Mr. Kennedy, the 31-year-old son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, announced last week he was leaving his job as a prosecutor in Middlesex County, west of Boston, to “explore a candidacy” for Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District.

Mr. Kennedy, if he runs, would be the first member of the Kennedy clan’s so-called fourth generation to seek elected office in Washington.

At least two Republicans, including Sean Bielat, who lost to Mr. Frank in 2010 by about 10 percentage points, and Elizabeth Childs, a former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, have filed to run.