Brown won't seek Kerry's Senate seat
February 1st, 2013
01:07 PM ET
5 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. ShawnDH

    Tommy G whined: "I hope this isn't true. Massachusetts could use somebody besides a flaming leftist Democrat representing the state."

    Why? Massachusetts is one of the most prosperous, most highly educated and most healthy states in the union. Clearly, they are doing something right and have no interest in becoming Alabama.

    February 1, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Thomas

    He's a much better male model then politician .

    February 1, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. He is a little upset

    He see's how his fellow republicans are treating another former moderate Republican and doesn't want to be a part of it. Look at how the Republicans eat their own, poor Hagel is taking a beating all because he agrees with Obama.

    February 1, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Pander Bear

    Hah! I now fully expect McCain and Graham to state they now have serious reservations about John Kerry as SoS and demand additional hearings, after giving him glowing reviews. Guess your plan to get Brown back in the Senate didn't work eh, geniuses?

    February 1, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Triple A

    What a shame, he is a pretty good down the middle of the road kind of guy compared to the polarized spectrum from both sides of the isle..

    February 1, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Until the GOP begins to move back into the political mainstream in this country, it won't win in MA or anywhere in the Northeast. Even NH is now considered a battleground, thanks to policies and personalities that turn off anyone with a discerning mind away from the GOP. The party of Rockefeller, and even Reagan, has become a caricature worthy of a Sinclair Lewis novel.

    February 1, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Tony Deisla

    He needs to move down here to NC, so he can oust our liberal Dem senator with a 35% approval rating. There are as many as 9 red state Dems who could lose in 2014.

    February 1, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. ellid

    Brown did exactly one thing that I liked: defended Sandra Fluke against Rush Limbaugh. Other than that, he was an utter waste as Senator who could not even hold his seat against a political neophyte who stumbled badly in her campaign.

    Good riddance, and take your overpriced designer barn coat and showhorse truck with you.

    February 1, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Deb in MT

    "He's a much better male model then politician ."
    I agree, Thomas. I suspect that he will be only too happy to strip down to his neuticles and go back to posing.

    And–speaking of 'posing'–whatever will he do with that pickup truck of his (unless he still needs it to run for Governor)?

    February 1, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Jake from Canada

    I'm truly surprised. I'm not a fan, but I'm pretty sure that election would be a lock for him. I guess it would suck to have to run again so soon and then again in 2013. I don't begrudge the decision. Also, strategically, it will give him more time to focus on the 2013 run instead of having to be a sitting senator while running. Not a fan, but it's shrewd if you think about it.

    February 1, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Rachael Roberts

    This is the best news! Massachusetts deserves better than this small, petty, childish politician. Clearly he has much less brains than looks, and the fact that he is NOT running has nothing to do with campaigning. He isn't running because people see WHAT he is and he knows he cannot win. And he is right. Oh, and by the way...his "nude" centerfold was cringe-worthy.

    February 1, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "but he has to be exhausted having run 2 campaigns in a short time."

    If his thinning hair line is any indication, he'll be better off going for the 7 figure private sector salary. Whether or not GOPers thumb-sucking Senators become too exhausted doing their job (or not) isn't a primary concern of mine.

    February 1, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Lilli

    Smart MAN!!!

    February 1, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Good decision, Mr. Brown. You have demonstrated that you absolutely nothing to contribute to the state of Mass or the country. So, why bother?

    February 1, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. carlos

    he could replace that cruz guy from texas right away..........

    February 1, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. ShawnDH

    Tony Deisla cried: "He needs to move down here to NC, so he can oust our liberal Dem senator with a 35% approval rating. There are as many as 9 red state Dems who could lose in 2014."

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

    February 1, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. sassysticks53

    Hee-hee. LMAO at John McOld and Crazy Graham! Idiots!

    February 1, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    The GOP bench is getting more than a little thin: first the prospect of Geraldo Rivera running in NJ, and now their best shot in MA has declined. Looks like the GOP is heading for the scrapheap. Wonder what other delta-minuses will show up in states like, say, GA?

    February 1, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Facts don't Lie

    @ carlos

    ' "he could re[lace that cruz guy from texas right away"

    Man I agree with you and I live in Texas. Sen Cruz to me is just another waste of human flesh sent from the red state of Texas to represent us....falls in the mold of the likes of Tom DeLay Louie Gomhert, Joe Barton and Rick Perry et al. I would take Brown over ANY one of these jokers, Shelia Jackson Lee included.

    February 1, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. AgrippaMT

    This is good news. Scott Brown proved to be a flash in the pan and the people of Massachusetts are far better represented by Elizabeth Warren. Brown's political career is over.

    February 1, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. teacher

    Not running – best news of the day.

    February 1, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Tom

    The republican party, aka the stupid party, is doomed.

    February 1, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    And there he is, up in that photo, contemplating an imaginary can of PBR that he intends to smash on his forehead like the good ole frat boy he is. Or, perhaps he was imagining reaching up towards IT while under one of the koch brothers' desks...

    February 1, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "I'm not a fan, but I'm pretty sure that election would be a lock for him."

    You're also clearly not from MA. At best, he would maybe pull off a close race that he wins or loses. , The polling outfit that had him beating Markey a few days ago (and which CNN of course gushed over) is the same polling place that had him slightly ahead of Warren prior to her delivering him a landslide smackdown loss back in November.

    February 1, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Smart man, didn't want a second beating.

    February 1, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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