Scott Brown not ruling out New Hampshire bid

In this Nov. 4, 2012, file photo, then-Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) waves to supporters from his bus after a campaign rally at Faneuil Hall in Boston. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) might run for Senate in New Hampshire. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is not ruling out a bid for Senate in New Hampshire, he told reporters in Nashua Thursday night.

"I’m not going to rule out anything right now, because I really haven’t thought a heck of a lot about it,” Brown told reporters when asked if he was interested in challenging Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in 2014. "I’m not sure what I'm going to do politically yet."

The former lawmaker was speaking to the press after delivering the keynote address at a dinner honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. He's planning to return to New Hampshire for an April 20 luncheon for the Grafton County Republican Committee.

"New Hampshire is like a second home," Brown was quoted as saying. "I was born at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, my mom and sister and family live here, spent summers here growing up, have a house here, I've been a taxpayer for 20 years. It's not a far drive, either." Brown owns a summer home in Rye, N.H. To run, he would need to register to vote in the state.

Brown won his Senate seat in a 2010 special election, a surprise victory for the GOP in deep-blue Massachusetts. Since losing to Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren last fall, Brown has joined a Boston law firm and become a regular contributor on Fox News. The former senator opted not to run in the special election this year for the seat formerly held by Secretary of State John Kerry, disappointing Republicans. Early polls suggested Brown, who remains personally popular in the Bay Sate despite his party affiliation, would have been a strong contender.

While New Hampshire is swingier than Massachusetts, a recent WMUR Granite State Poll found Shaheen comfortably positioned for reelection with a favorability rating of 59 percent. Former senator John Sununu, who beat Shaheen in 2002 and was beaten by her in 2008, is a potential Republican contender, along with former Reps. Frank Guinta and Jeb Bradley.

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring called Shaheen a "nice lady" but said she "lost a Senate race once and will again when middle class voters are reminded how much of their money she's wasted and how little she's accomplished in return."

Democrats were dismissive of Brown's potential candidacy.

"Is it possible to quote someone laughing?" asked Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky. New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein said the state GOP is "clearly in a state of utter panic if they are recruiting failed Massachusetts politicians like Scott Brown."

 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · April 4, 2013