O’Brien signals interest in congressional race

Former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien is considering a race for the 2nd District congressional seat held by Democrat Ann Kuster.

O’Brien insists his controversial two-year stint presiding over the House will not be an impediment, despite the fact that Democrats made him the focus of their successful campaign to regain control of the House.

"I have a lot of folks who come up to me and say we really appreciate what you did," he told National Journal’s Kevin Brennan.

In fact, O’Brien claims other Republicans would stay out of the race if he runs, telling Brennan, “I think I can clear the field.”

Just in case, however, O’Brien wasted no time in attacking former state Sen. Gary Lambert (R-Nashua) who has also signaled interest in the race:

O’Brien called Lambert “a good man and an honorable public servant,” but he said the former state senator has taken positions which could prove problematic in a potential GOP primary, specifically citing Lambert’s vote to keep the state’s cap-and-trade initiative in place and his support for a plan to extend commuter rails from Boston to New Hampshire. “One wonders if it’s only because he has a law office in Boston,” O’Brien said.