Can the GOP field a Senate candidate?

It’s no wonder Scott Brown is reluctant to mount another run for the US Senate after watching his already-weak state party base splinter into warring camps in voting for a new leader. Kirsten Hughes, an ally of Brown, won the party’s chairmanship, but her margin of victory over the more conservative Rick Green was just two votes and it took her two ballots to come out on top.

The Globe seemed amused at the fight, quoting former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey as saying pitched battles for “the often thankless job” are commonplace. “It’s very important for this group to know that this is not unusual,” she said. “This happens every time. We pull together.”

As Republicans battle each other in the trenches, candidates for the US Senate race are in short supply. The Globe reports that “those familiar with Brown’s deliberations” believe he will not run and will instead look for a job in the private sector. They say he is worn out from the last two campaigns and worried that, even if he wins the special election, he would have to mount another campaign in 2014.

The Herald seems to have conceded the Democratic primary is where the state’s next senator will be decided and is jumping on board with article after article after article praising US Rep. Stephen Lynch. Still, the tabloid reports that “party sources” expect Brown to run. But the paper doesn’t sound too convinced, making the rounds to see who else might be interested. Charlie Baker said he doesn’t see himself as a Senate candidate, while William Weld, Healey and Richard Tisei couldn’t be reached for comment. (Could someone else be in the wings? In New Jersey, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera says he is contemplating a Republican run for senator, CNN reports.)

Globe pundit Scot Lehigh takes the pulse of the field in both parties. He gives the edge to US Rep. Ed Markey on the Democratic side. As for the Republicans, he disses Brown, generally praises Weld, and says Healey “seems like a smart, engaging, data-oriented moderate with real growth potential.”

–BRUCE MOHL

BEACON HILL

A group of housing authority officials is filing legislation that would keep control of housing authorities at the local level, contrary to Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to consolidate and regionalize the boards.

The state’s welfare boss resigns after an internal report showed nearly 47,000 families received benefits they weren’t entitled to. The resignation is a big takedown for the Herald, which relentlessly pursued problems in the welfare department and left the Globe in the dust.

When a state agency refers the campaign activities of Lt. Gov. Tim Murray to Attorney General Martha Coakley for action, it’s news — but it’s news you have to ask for, CommonWealth reports.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Plymouth police recovered the gun that went missing when a police captain left it in the bathroom of a courthouse but they are not saying where or how the weapon was found.

A new billboard in Peabody causes an uproar, prompting the mayor and other officials to call for its removal, the Salem News reports.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

New Sen. William “Mo” Cowan spent the day yesterday introducing himself to the South Coast area as well as joining Greater Boston to lay out his five-month plan.

The Newtown, Connecticut, Board of Education lays plans to put police officers at its elementary schools, NECN reports.

The irrepressible Ed Koch, the former New York City mayor, is dead at age 88. New York magazine rounds up Koch’s best lines. Among them: “This rural American thing — I’m telling you, it’s a joke.”

ELECTIONS

Sen. Frank Lautenberg publicly throws a geriatric elbow in Cory Booker’s face.

The Phoenix ponders a John Connolly mayoral run in Boston.  

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The US economy adds jobs, but the unemployment rate rises, the Associated Press reports (via Time).

Canton-based Dunkin’ Donuts says the company is planning on opening as many as 360 new stores in 2013.

Season ticket renewals for the Red Sox are down 10 percent, and the team’s CEO, Sam Kennedy, admits there is no mystery why:  “It will come as no surprise if, on the heels of a 69-win season, our fans don’t sell out the park some nights this year,” he tells the Globe.

The downtown Boston condo market is hot.

Stop & Shop puts out a call for temporary workers ahead of a possible union strike.

HEALTH CARE

The rate of suicide among veterans continues to rise.

A new state report on Lyme disease will not include skepticism about the existence of chronic Lyme expressed by the interim state public health commissioner, Dr. Lauren Smith.  CommonWealth’s winter issue looks at the Lyme controversy that prompted the state report.

TRANSPORTATION

Giant digital advertising screens have arrived at stations of the cash-strapped MBTA.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

New charging stations for hybrid vehicles at New Bedford’s two parking garage go online today,  and officials will allow drivers to use the spaces for the first year for free to encourage people to take advantage of the service.

The town of Harvard is a standout for solar installation.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

A Middleborough man and his stepson were arrested near a West Bridgewater fire and police believe the pair, who they were following with a court-approved GPS tracking device, may be connected to 24 arsons in southeastern Mass.

A federal court has ordered a new trial in the wrongful conviction case of Shawn Drumgold, who won a $14 million judgment against the city of Boston related to his conviction in connection with the 1988 shooting of 12-year-old Darlene Tiffany Moore.

MEDIA

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Political reporter Glen Johnson is leaving the Globe to become a senior advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry, the Associated Press reports.

What’s up with Hillary’s glasses? Tiziana Dearing asks in a WBUR column.