Wolf: Hill well served by career pols, those from private sector

Hasn't 100 percent made up his mind he won't run agaif

Reported to be in his last term in the Legislature, a Cape Cod Democrat who sought the top office in state government two years ago said Thursday he has not completely made up his mind about running for re-election in 2016.

"Up until the time I issue the statement it's not 100 percent certain that I have made up my mind," Sen. Dan Wolf, a Harwich Democrat, told the News Service. He said he would "absolutely" serve out the remainder of his term.

A statement will be released "shortly," he said. "It's a very complicated web when you're in public service. I mean there's a lot of personal issues that are involved. And then of course there are the public issues too. And that's the balance. I'm still fully engaged as the CEO of a company that I'm very passionate about and I'm still a responsible, engaged family, father and husband too."

 

The founder and CEO of Cape Air, Wolf provides the perspective of a successful businessman with an ardent belief in liberal policies in the Senate, providing a counter to Republicans who speak for other quarters of the business community.

Citing "multiple sources," the Cape Cod Times on Friday reported Wolf would not run for re-election, and on Monday, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg indicated the senator he placed in an agenda-setting role is on his way out.

"We're going to miss him. He's a terrifically effective public servant," Rosenberg said. Rosenberg said, "And he's just been pulled in two different directions and he had to make a choice for himself and his family."

Wolf told the News Service he has done "soul searching" and he said the overall composure of the Senate is "part of the decision, too."

"I think the Legislature is well served by a balance of people who are in for a long time providing institutional knowledge - what you would call a career politician - and those people who move in and out of the process from the private sector - in from the field, serving, and then going back out into the private sector," said Wolf who was first elected in 2010 and launched a run for governor in 2013 that was cut short by the Ethics Commission because of his airline's contract with the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The commission revised its regulations in 2014, but the window had passed for Wolf, who continued on as Senate chairman of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development this session and took the post of chairman of the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy.

Since Wolf intends to serve out his term, any sitting House member in the Cape and Islands district would need to choose between running for re-election or attempting a run for Senate if his seat opens up.

Before Wolf, the Cape and Islands seat was held by a Democrat, Robert O'Leary and a Republican, former Sen. Henri Rauschenbach.

 

Wolf spoke to the News Service on Thursday after defending on the floor a bill (S 967) enhancing the power of the attorney general to represent workers against businesses and after speaking to a group of activists seeking an immediate shutdown and environmental safety measures at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.

On Oct. 13 the Entergy Corp.-owned plant that began operations on the shores of Plymouth in 1972 announced that it would be close by June 1, 2019.

The pending closure of the plant does not put the issue to rest for Wolf, who shares concerns with many on the Cape about the potential for a nuclear disaster on the site.

"What I'm hearing in district is people think, 'OK, onto the next issue,'" Wolf told the anti-nuclear-plant activists. He said, "What is the next issue is the Pilgrim nuclear power plant. That is the next issue in our backyard."

Wolf, who said he practiced "nonviolent civil disobedience" at the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire in 1977, advised those gathered for a rally in the State House that it would be important to make sure the spent fuel at the plant is dealt with responsibly.