[John F. MacGovern] said several Republican lawmakers then approached Pierce, known for his articulate manner, and asked him to run against [William G. Robinson], whose tempestuous style has favored vociferous floor debate against Democrats and Gov. Dukakis. Pierce, they said, reluctantly concurred but said he wanted to talk with Robinson first.
After Pierce postponed that meeting for several weeks, the group approached him again this week during an eight-hour debate on local aid and insisted he see Robinson. One Robinson supporter said that opponents just wanted Robinson out of the way so they could move up.
Rep. Richard R. Tisei of Wakefield, a former intern in Robinson's office, said, "At one point there is going to be a change. There has to be, but I don't know if you can blame everything that's happened on Robinson." He said he was not yet ready to abandon support for Robinson, but said that dissatisfaction was high among Republicans.