Brown won't seek Kerry's Senate seat
February 1st, 2013
01:07 PM ET
2 years ago

Brown won't seek Kerry's Senate seat

(CNN) - Former Sen. Scott Brown said Friday that he won't make a bid this year to return to Capitol Hill.

The Republican from Massachusetts announced that "I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election."

That special election will be held on June 25, with the winner filling the final eighteen months of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who steps down from the Senate Friday to become secretary of state.

In January 2010, then state lawmaker Brown upset Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general, in a special election to fill the final two years of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died the previous summer.

Brown won the special election by five points over Coakley, but lost his re-election bid in November to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren by eight points. Around 2.3 million voters cast ballots in the 2010 special election, and nearly 3.2 million voted in last November's general election.

Whoever wins the June special election would then have to run again in 2014 for a full six-year term in office. For Brown that would have meant running for four Senate elections in less than five years. And that appears to be a factor in Brown's decision.

"Over these past few weeks I have given serious thought about the possibility of running again, as events have created another vacancy requiring another special election. I have received a lot of encouragement from friends and supporters to become a candidate, and my competitive instincts were leading in the same direction," said Brown.

But he added that "even so, I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time."

Thursday Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch announced his bid for Kerry's Senate seat, becoming the second candidate to jump into the special election. Lynch joins fellow Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, the longest serving member of the Bay State's congressional delegation. The Democratic primary will be held on April 30.

Lynch quickly reacted to Brown's decision, saying "I understand Scott Brown's decision. He has basically been campaigning non-stop for three years. It's perfectly understandable that he wouldn't want to undertake another campaign. I wish all the best to Scott and his family."

Brown was likely the Republicans best chance of flipping Kerry's seat to the GOP. With Brown not running, the spotlight could turn to former Republican Gov. William Weld, who recently moved back to the Bay State, or former GOP Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, says a Republican strategist who lives in Boston and who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely.

Brown's decision was first reported earlier Friday by the Boston Herald, and three Republican sources confirmed the news to CNN.

Wednesday Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick announced that a trusted former aide was his choice to serve as an interim replacement for Kerry. Patrick named William "Mo" Cowan, his former chief of staff, as senator.

Cowan, who will serve through the June special election, will become the second African-American in the U.S. Senate, alongside Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina. Scott, who was just elected in November to a second term as a congressman, was named last month to succeed Sen. Jim DeMint, who stepped down from his seat.


Filed under: John Kerry • Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Snoop

    "Uh-huh. Just like you were going to take the Senate back in 2012? Keep dreaming and get ready for House Speaker Pelosi."

    You can't possibly be serious. Her last stint as Speaker was a train wreck. Sequel neither needed nor wanted. If the Deomcrats get the House back in 2014 or 2016, someone like Van Hollen should be the Speaker.

    On the same lines, Reid needs to step down for a less whacked out Democrat who can actually compromise and get things done.

    February 1, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. TomGI

    Doubtful he could win in MA.

    February 1, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Facts don't Lie

    that little "Indian Chief Wahoo" deal did not do much to help Brown in the long run and whoever the guy is in that video gone viral that is doing the dance and making fun of Native Americans may have helped doom the career of what I think is a pretty decent guy and wish more in the GOP were like him. Brown needs to pull that guy to the side and ask him some questions.

    February 1, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Mark

    Talk about stupid!!! First MA voted for a president that thinks there are 57 states, and can't balance a budget to save his life. Then MA votes for a senator that thinks she is an Indian. Doesn't she look in the mirror every morning?

    February 1, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. California Gary

    Best decision this guy has made in quite some time. Why get humiliated again so soon?

    February 1, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Shawn in MD

    How do politicians spend so much money on campaigns for a position that pays meagre salary? Obviously, dont they all make that money up and more when they are elected? Well Mr. Brown has gone through 2 campaigns and he didnt have enough time in the office to make that money back. So he cant run once more in such a short time. Plain and simple if you ask me.

    February 1, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    "I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election."

    I have a hard time believing anything a republican says and S. Brown is no exception.

    February 1, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. JJ

    He knew he could never win anyway. Just get out of the way.

    February 1, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Ideas, Ideals, and not ideologies

    Everyone wants a higher office and Brown is no different. He must have more ambitious plans such governor in MA and on to the presidency. If he were to run again for that Senate seat in Blue Massachusetts would mean that he would be face serious challenges every time he's up for re-election and this hyperpartisan climate he would get lambasted every time he casts a vote along with Republicans. His seat would never be safe as a statewide office holder unless he becomes a Democrat or votes with them on the Senate floor thereby alienating his party.
    I think he would have an easier path if he runs for governor and follow it with a presidential run following in Romney's steps. As a Northeastern seating republican governor in his second term the Republican will see him as a savior in 2021 after they lose the 2016 election.

    February 1, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. The Other Dale

    I'm not a Scott Brown fan, but the guy's not an idiot and he knows it is politically best for him to wait this out and see what 2014 brings. Throw in a bid now, and lose, and he can kiss his political career goodbye.

    February 1, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  11. DuffB

    Four senate races in five years is too much to ask from anyone. I'd like to see the Republican Party step back from their extremism and having Brown was a good step in that direction but that's too much electioneering. Maybe he'll try it in a couple of years.

    February 1, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. DENNA

    Wait. Weren't the GOP excited about Kerry giving up the seat? Weren't they counting on filling that seat with a GOP behind? Wasn't that why they really pilloried Susan Rice over her nomination for the Secretary of State job? No matter. hope a Democrat wins in the end.

    February 1, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. roy

    One republican to not worry about.

    February 1, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    He thinks he has a better chance of governor or even being the next presidential nominee.!?
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    February 1, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. yogi

    For the simple reason that Brown has no chance whatsoever.

    February 1, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. Milton Nabe

    I live in Massachusetts, which has a long history of electing criminals as politicians.

    The last three state House Speakers have been federally indicted, and the state re-elected Ted Kennedy after he drowned a woman instead of sending him to jail.

    So it's no surprise that they would reject a good man like Scott Brown and instead elect a woman who lied about her background.

    February 1, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  17. The Right Left

    The GOP has come to terms that they dont have a nation wide way of taking over. So the Governor's and state assempbly strategy is in play.

    Additionally, Scott Brown, running for governor will permanently shut the door for future Presidnetial run knowing what happended to Romney in the Prmary season. The South will never allow another north eastern Republican to be their nominee who can talk intellignetly and not in tongues.

    February 2, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  18. The Right Left

    Like the Confederates, the GOP is now largely a party of the Southern Whites. It is more like a regional party rather than a national one. Even in the south, their hold is temporary and becoming tenuous, with Georgia, Texas going blue this decade, with South Carolina and North Corlina heading in the same direction. GOP is hemmoraging as the right wing devours it.

    February 2, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  19. Mandor

    A damn shame. I'm a MA resident, voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Kerry in 2004, but I would have voted for Scott Brown for senator in a heartbeat. I'm satisfied with Warren, and I think she'll do a good job. But I would trust Brown with the other senate seat long before i'd want it go to to Markey or Lynch or another of the oldguard pols.

    February 2, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
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