The loss of a House seat in Massachusetts will likely pit Democrat against Democrat in the fight to redraw the state's district lines next year. 

The Boston Herald looks at some of the options for Democrats in the state and finds members already staking out their ground ahead of 2011.

The path for Massachusetts Dems could be eased given a retirement or a run for higher office from within the ranks of the state's delegation — the latter being a real possibility given that Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is on the ballot in 2012. From the Herald story:

If none depart of their own accord, two current members may be forced to compete for the same turf in 2012, with the loser getting thrown off the all-Democrat island.

“It’s a disappointment,’’ said Representative Niki Tsongas of Lowell. “We all held out hope that this would not be the case.’’


Several members of the Massachusetts delegation yesterday would not say whether they intend to run for reelection to their seats.

Among them was Representative Barney Frank of Newton, who declined to be interviewed through a spokesman. When approached for comment outside the House chamber, Frank responded, “Nine is less than 10.’’ Then, when asked whether he will retire, he replied, “I won’t discuss elections for another several weeks.’’

In the western part of the state, which is currently divided into two districts, Representative John Olver of Amherst has already announced his intention to seek reelection, while Representative Richard Neal of Springfield extolled the virtues of having two seats in Western Massachusetts.

The most likely member of the delegation to opt for a Senate run against Brown in 2012 is Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), but he declined to indicate Tuesday whether or not the loss of a House seat for the state might impact his plans or when he might decide on a Senate run.