While Colt, 63, was vacationing this April in the British Virgin Islands, Clark, 61, announced his candidacy for his old seat. Now these two well-bred Brahmins are locked in a nasty primary battle, fighting to represent a North Shore district that may be the state's richest, whitest and most Republican.
Colt has a 60-acre farm in Wenham. Clark has a 75-acre farm in neighboring Hamilton. Colt is an attorney specializing in trusts and estates; Clark is an investment banker, although he now works for Gov. William F. Weld as an assistant environmental commissioner. Colt is a member of the Forbes family; Clark's ancestors include explorer William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, and John Albion Andrew, governor of Massachusetts during the Civil War.
Politically, both are typical Yankee Republicans, fiscally conservative and socially moderate, with backgrounds in local government. Colt always gave money to Clark's campaigns; Clark urged Colt to run for his seat when he decided to leave the Legislature to mount a quixotic challenge to state Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci. Clark got a meager 22.5 percent of the vote in his statewide race, then landed a post in the Weld administration. But he soon began making noises about his old job, complaining that Colt went on vacation during the 1995 budget battle and mishandled a controversy over Ipswich District Court.