Mass. Sen. Tarr throws his support to Kasich

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BOSTON — Bruce Tarr, the top Republican in the Massachusetts Senate, on Friday endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the GOP presidential nomination.

Tarr, the Senate minority leader from Gloucester who has served in the upper chamber since 1995, said Kasich’s 18 years of experience on the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives would help “guide us to a new and stable place in a turbulent and dangerous world.”

“Now more than ever, voters in New England and across the country need a leader with the temperament and executive experience to make America strong again,” Tarr said in a statement released by the Kasich campaign. “John Kasich is that leader and I am proud to endorse him.”

Tarr’s district on the North Shore runs up to the New Hampshire state line, where Kasich hopes a strong showing in the nation’s first primary will give him a boost in a crowded GOP presidential field.

With a large slate of candidates and Massachusetts holding its primary earlier than usual this year — joining 13 other states in voting on Super Tuesday, March 1 — some politicians and observers have suggested that the Bay State could have more of an impact than normal in 2016.

“I have tremendous respect for Senator Bruce Tarr’s long record of public service and conservative leadership in a blue state,” Kasich said in the statement. “It’s an honor to receive his endorsement as we expand our operations in Massachusetts leading up to the primary election in March.”

The small Senate Republican caucus often puts up a unified front, but not this year when it comes to presidential politics. At least two of the five Republicans — Sens. Ryan Fattman of Sutton and Vinny deMacedo of Plymouth — are backing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Written by Colin A. Young