Brown to formally jump into Senate race
April 7th, 2014
08:54 AM ET
6 years ago

Brown to formally jump into Senate race

(CNN) - Scott Brown is about to make it official.

The former senator from Massachusetts, who's been moving closer and closer to running for the Senate in neighboring New Hampshire, formally tosses his hat into the ring at a campaign event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday, CNN confirmed Monday morning.

The sea coast city setting for Brown's official entry into what may become a major battle against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, emphasizes Brown's roots in the Granite State. His mother lives in the vicinity, he spent a lot of his childhood in the area, and he was born just across the Piscataqua River, in Kittery, Maine. . Brown's announcement was first reported by John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Journal.

Since late year, when he began considering a Senate bid in New Hampshire, Brown's been highlighting his ties to the Granite State, to push back against characterizations of him as a "carpetbagger" by Democrats.

"Portsmouth played a special role in my childhood. I remember our house on Islington Street, strolling through Strawbery Banke with my grandfather, and catching a show at Prescott Park," said Brown in an email to supporters. "Now, Portsmouth is going to be the start of the next chapter in my life."

Last month, Brown announced that he was forming an exploratory committee, which allowed him to raise money and hire staff for a Senate bid. He immediately began a listening tour across New Hampshire. And last Friday CNN confirmed that a former longtime close aide, Colin Reed, had left his job as deputy communications director for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to serve as Brown's campaign manager.

Brown has made his opposition to the federal health care law a key part of his campaign. In his email, Brown added that as he's traveled across the state, "I’ve heard the same concerns at every stop. You’ve told me you want a stronger economy with more good-paying jobs. You want a government that doesn’t spend more than it takes in. Most of all, you want a health care system that works for New Hampshire – not one that leaves you with higher premiums, cancelled policies and fewer medical options."


From Massachusetts to New Hampshire

Brown, then a little-known state senator, in Massachusetts, scored an upset victory in a special election in January 2010 to serve the final three years of the term of the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, who had died the previous summer. Brown lost his bid 2012 re-election bid for a full six-year term to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.

Last year, Brown passed on running in a special election in Massachusetts to fill the term of John Kerry, who left the Senate to become secretary of state. And at the time, Brown also announced that he wouldn't make a 2014 bid for an open governor's seat in the Bay State.

Brown made a number of speaking appearances at GOP events in New Hampshire last year, where he spent much of his childhood and where he owned a vacation home. Last fall, in another hint about a possible run, he dropped the 'MA' from his Twitter handle.

A few months later, he sold his home in Massachusetts and moved his residency north to the Granite State.

Battle over a pledge

Shaheen's campaign, reacting to the news that Brown is formally entering the contest, quickly criticized him for not signing a pledge to keep outside money out of the Senate race.

"In 2012, Scott Brown said Massachusetts voters deserved better than outside third-party attack ads. Well, the people of New Hampshire deserve better too. We hope, now that he is officially a candidate, Scott Brown will commit to the same standard he set in his last race on the other side of the border and tell the special interests to stay out," said Mike Vlacich, Shaheen's campaign manager.

Both Brown and Warren signed the pledge in their 2012 contest, but he won't sign the new pledge, saying it comes too late because outside groups have already spent big bucks on the race.

One of those groups, the Ending Spending Action Fund, a pro-Republican outside group, says its going up statewide in New Hampshire with a new TV commercial that uses a clip of Brown from four years ago slamming the new federal health care law, better known as Obamacare. The spot ends with the narrator saying that "Scott Brown was right on Obamacare then, he's right for New Hampshire Now.

The group tells CNN that they're spending six figures to run the spot starting Monday on WMUR, the main commercial broadcast station in the Granite State, as on NESN (New England Sports Network) during Boston Red Sox pre and post game shows, including Thursday's first showdown of the year between the Red Sox and the rival New York Yankees

The group put out a spot last year in an effort to convince Brown to run for the Senate in New Hampshire.

Separately, two of the biggest players when it comes to outside spending, Americans for Prosperity (which is backed by the big bucks of the billionaire industrialist Koch Brothers) and American Crossroads (which was co-founded by Karl Rove), have poured around $1.5 million into the race, mostly to attack Shaheen for her support of the health care law.

"Scott Brown is for Scott Brown. He moved to New Hampshire and aligned himself with the third party special interest groups trying to buy New Hampshire's Senate seat," said Granite State Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, in a statement.

"Today’s announcement is no surprise-Scott Brown is working with the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove to get elected in New Hampshire so that he can do their bidding again in the United States Senate. Well, Granite Staters know and deserve better," Buckley added.

State of Play

Brown joins three other Republicans who are running for their party's Senate nomination in New Hampshire: former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens, and conservative activist Karen Testerman. The winner will face off against Shaheen, also served six years as the state's governor.

If Brown ends up winning the GOP's September primary, it could expand the map for Republicans. Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like New Hampshire.

The most recent public opinion polls in a possible Brown-Shaheen November showdown give the incumbent a double digit advantage. According to a Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll conducted in March, Shaheen had a 52%-39% lead among New Hampshire voters. And the senator was up 50%-38% over her potential GOP challenger in an American Research Group survey conducted around the same time.



Filed under: 2014 • Jeanne Shaheen • New Hampshire • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    This guy is just like Mark Sanford. Period.

    April 7, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. kurt

    I'm not positive, but I don't think anyone has ever been Senator from two different states. I'm not sure Scott Brown is the man to set that kind of history.

    In general, I don't believe voters like taking some other state's cast off (let's remember he lost his only non-special election for Mass. Senate). We'll see if he can pull it off, but I'd be shocked.

    April 7, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |

    The GOP RETREAD from mass should be DEPORTED back there but probably won't take him.

    April 7, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    In the words of Scott Brown, "Whatever."

    April 7, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Lizzie

    So Hillary moves to NY runs for the senate, Jackson Lee, Sheila moved from NY to Texas . Politicians move to states where they have a better chance of getting elected.

    April 7, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. king

    This guy reminds me of the RNC head, he will throw his hook all over the lake to catch a bite. He is a snibbling little weasel. I hope the dems open their eyes to this reality. Scott brown will go anywhere the party goes, and this party is hell bent on destroying America so that the people can blame the black man the white house. The establishment wants the white house back to start wars, and gain back their bully status, and the tea putting types just want the black man out of their white house. They don't care how much of them and their neighbors self interest they have to sacrifice to get either.

    April 7, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    I really think Brown should try South Carolina next.

    April 7, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Watch it!!

    I'll take Scott Brown over any of the liberal leeches posting on here.

    April 7, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Gurgyl

    -–well, in NC, these republican idiots are reorganizing districts to get elected easily by fraud. Go in groups with driver license, vote straight democratic ticket.

    April 7, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. Lizzie

    “We have to raise money to win the election so we can reduce the role of money in politics,” Pelosi said on “State of the Union.”

    April 7, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. salty dog

    Sanford is a total tool, thinks the rules are for us low level losers, Scott brown,..... guess your right gurgyl

    April 7, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Name

    OH Lord. Just a grab for power

    April 7, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Terry b

    Hopefully New Hampshire will keep a good senator and not replace her with a lousy one. Brown likes antonin scalia which proves that he should not be allowed into the senate.

    April 7, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. S.B. Stein

    I guess he regrets not running for Kerry's seat now. Do the people of New Hampshire really believe that he is going to represent them since he lived in MA for so long? We'll find out after he loses.

    April 7, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Gunderson

    Aw, well,
    Say hello to Senator Scott Brown!, and goodbye to Harry Reid! Maybe your Rubber Ducky also.

    April 7, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Fair is Fair


    This guy is just like Mark Sanford. Period.
    Maybe you can use one of those 4 college diplomas you claim to have and explain how they're alike.

    April 7, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. DJ Reality

    Well if Scott Brown doesn't win in New Hampshire he's got forty-eight more states left to try.

    April 7, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Rosslaw

    Hey. I flew over New Hampshire twice, I guess I should run. The new GOP one size fits all Senator. If this doesn't work out, maybe he can run for Prime Minister of Canada since that happens to be in the neighborhood as well.

    April 7, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Poor dude is so afraid of a real job he's willing to pimp himself out state to state to avoid real work. Yet they call us lazy.... Smh.

    April 7, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Norma Vessels

    I don't care what state Scott Brown is from, nor what state he thinks he can win in. I don't like him now, and won't like him wherever he goes.

    April 7, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. NatuticalMan

    Scott Brown is a nice guy, with a lovely family. From what I understand, did not accomplish much eiher as a State Senator or in Washington. Watched his debates wth Elizabeth Warren and suggest some pointers on how to debate with a woman opponent. Disclosure, I voted for Warren.

    April 7, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    Like the Bread song goes . . . . It don't matter to me as long as people are dumb enough to fall for my flip flopping of states because I can't get the votes in my home state of Massachusetts.

    April 7, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. sly

    What is a 'Republican'?

    I seem to remember them from the 1900's.

    Didn't they go the way of the DoDo bird?

    April 7, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Doesn't Scott Brown qualify for federal funding for vocational rehab ?

    He would be a great Insurance salesman or Corporate Travel analysts .

    April 7, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. danomite

    He may need a lot of campaign money (aka "free speech") and luck to pull this off. I've noticed that most politicians that lose an election have a hard tie winning their way back in.

    April 7, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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