William Lynch, a longtime former chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, is considering running for the District 8 state Senate left vacant by the resignation Tuesday of James E. Doyle II, Rhode Island Public Radio has learned.
Doyle, a Democrat first elected in 2004, said he was stepping down due to a personal struggle with alcohol.
Matthew Fecteau, who came close to defeating Doyle in 2016, has already announced a campaign for the Pawtucket-based Senate seat.
Another former Doyle rival, Mark Theroux, is also expected to run. Possible candidates include Pawtucket city councilors Albert Vitali and Sandra Cano.
After a long tenure, Lynch stepped down as Democratic Party chairman in 2010 and ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat vacated by Patrick J. Kennedy.
Like Doyle, Lynch is a son of a former Pawtucket mayor, Dennis Lynch, who went on to work for the state for many years before dying in 2007. Lynch is a lawyer with Lynch & Pine, the firm led by two former state attorneys general, his brother, Patrick Lynch, and Jeff Pine.
In recent years, Lynch has served as a special adviser for the the state Democratic Party, although he has considerably scaled back his level of activity in that role.
A special election to fill the vacant Senate seat is planned for April 3. The filing deadline ends on January 19, so prospective candidates will need to make their decisions quickly. A primary will be held on February 27.
This story has been updated.