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

    You made the Games exciting, Mr. Brown. Thanks for playing.

    February 1, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. a little sad

    Afraid of getting spanked again, or is there more to this story?

    February 1, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    What??? Now THIS is hard to believe.......

    February 1, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. much thunder.little rain

    to bad one of the few good ones of the gop

    February 1, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Tony

    Poor Republicans. They thought that they could pick up a seat in the Senate by allowing Kerry to become the new Secretary of State.

    February 1, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Tommy G

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

    February 1, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. mk1

    I think that he thought that if he lost this election, another so close to his last loss, this would spell the end of his political career. Better sit this one out and fight another day, say Governor in two years?

    February 1, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. gb0432

    too risky for him..Brown knows if he loses again he is politcal history...he is holding out for the governorship

    February 1, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    From what I've seen of Brown in the past, I don't think he's willing to dance to anyones music just because he's a Republican.

    February 1, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. facepalm

    Good riddance.
    I do have to wonder what section of the political baseboard he is gnawing on, though, and where he will pop out next.
    Ick. Better put down some cheese and traps.

    February 1, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Mass. is too much of a Dem stronghold........where no one who is middle of the road, can exist.

    February 1, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. TM

    Nice to see the bald faced political chess game blow up in the face of the Grand Old Tea Party. Ambassador Rice did not deserve the baseless attacks leveled at her, all in the name of opening up a Senate seat for Mr. Brown. Now that Senators Graham and McCain have been revealed for the petty political hacks they have become, it's time for Scott Brown to move on to pursue what is in HIS best interest rather than what will serve the increasingly narrow goals of his party. If he chooses to pursue political office again he would have a much better and clearer path towards the Governorship of Massachusetts. With one notable exception, recent history has shown that that state benefits greatly from having a republican as governor to balance out the democratic legislature.

    February 1, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    FORMER Sen. Brown, your reign on the top was short like leprachauns. You didn't honestly think you'll hold onto a true blue democrat seat did you? Maybe you can get a job at the Heritage Foundation or Fox Noise.

    February 1, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Tom

    I'm not really surprised. Remember Kerry would have been up for reelection in 2014 and this is a special election to fill the unexpired portion of his term. That's maybe a year to serve in the Senate. I suspect Brown learned from the 2012 election, technically being the incumbent doesn't really buy you much. And if Brown were to lose again that would really hurt his career. There's been a lot of speculation Brown is going to run for Governor in 2014. That might make more sense for him.

    February 1, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    LOLLERSKATES!!!! Cue dying PacMan sound...

    February 1, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "too risky for him..Brown knows if he loses again he is politcal history...he is holding out for the governorship"

    Pfffff. I doubt it. More like he probably landed a cozy gig lobbying and peddling influence for 7 figures a year.

    February 1, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. AJ 513

    Afraid of getting spanked again, or is there more to this story?
    What I had heard implied was that Brown would rather try his hand at the governor's seat which is up soon. I don't know who'd be he up against, as Patrick is not running for re-election in 2014. That said, I have no clue who the GOP will try to run for Kerry's seat now, so the dems should hopefully pick it up.

    That said, a win for either party won't really change the make-up of the senate, so this race means little. in the meantime, with republicans trying to change the rules and laws of the elections to benefit them at the state levels, they'd probably rather have their strongest politician in any state run the state and not just represent it so they can push their agenda.

    February 1, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Tree

    Brown is looking for bigger fish, GOVERNOR.......

    February 1, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. ST

    I salute you Scott Brown that you have made your announcement now after John Kerry has been confirmed. I can't imagine how McCain and Lindsey Graham could have grilled Kerry knowing there is no hope of taking the seat.

    February 1, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. useyourbrain

    During his years in the state legistlature, Brown was voted the '5th most effective Republican representtive', out of 5! He would show up only just before votes, and ask his party boss which way he should vote.
    In the Senate, he decided which way he would vote almost always at the last minute.

    Combined, this means he is a FOLLOWER, not a leader. For Governor, we need a leader. Brown, no way. For senate, even though I'm a democrat, I would likely vote for Weld over either of the announced Democrats.

    February 1, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. just sayin

    i think if he ran he could win. remember it isn't a national election. but he has to be exhausted having run 2 campaigns in a short time. who can blame him for not doing 3 in a very short time.

    February 1, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Tom Nance

    I think it is a shame since Senator Brown proved to be somewhat Moderate after he was elected to fill Ted Kennedy's seat. To be quite honest, Scott Brown is in the wrong party.

    February 1, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Hogan's Goat

    He'd lose. He was a one-hit wonder. Na na, hey hey, kiss him good bye.

    February 1, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children

    McSenile and his girlfriend Lindsey Graham political chese game blow up in their faces....they supported John Kerry instead of Susan Rice with the hope of Scott Brown picking up his seat for the GOP and now that's not gonna happen!!! LOL

    So when is McSenile and his girlfriend Lindsey Graham gonna apologise to Susan Rice? These idiots are so concerned about the 4 American deaths in Benghazi but dont give a hoot about the over 4000 American soldiers killed in Iraq?!!!!

    Just dancing like puppets to the drumbeats of the FAUX NEWS talking points – BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI....rinse and repeat mantra like some macabre cycle with that phoney hogwash fox news hard-hitting stories!!!!

    Yeah right, Iraq is such a glowing succes story, NOT!!!!!

    February 1, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Scott Brown was just resoundingly rejected by the voters.
    One would have to be truly stubborn not to see how unwise it would be for him to run for this seat.

    February 1, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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