Former Mass. US senator not ruling out run in NH
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Declaring that he's likely not done with politics, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown from Massachusetts refused Thursday to rule out a run for office in New Hampshire, while describing the Granite State as "almost a second home."
"I don't think I'm done with politics," the Republican told reporters after delivering the keynote address at a New Hampshire dinner commemorating the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death.
Asked if he might challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire in 2014, Brown said: "I'm not going to rule out anything right now."
The former senator, now a Fox News contributor, won election to the Senate seat long held by Democrat Ted Kennedy after he died in 2009. Brown has been out of politics since January after losing his re-election contest to Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Brown disappointed Massachusetts Republicans by declining to run in the special election to replace Sen. John Kerry, who was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as secretary of state.
On Thursday, Brown highlighted his willingness to reach across the aisle during his three years in Washington.
"I was the most bipartisan senator in the United States Senate. That's I think what people want. Apparently they don't want it in Massachusetts," he said.
Brown emphasized his connection to New Hampshire throughout his remarks. He noted that he's been invited to speak in the state four out of the next five weeks.
"New Hampshire's like a second home," Brown said. "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. Been a taxpayer for 20 years."
Brown's primary residence is in Wrentham, Mass., but he owns a home along New Hampshire's seacoast.
Should he decide to stay in politics in Massachusetts, he has political options there. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election in 2014, leaving the governor's seat up for grabs.
"I'm not sure what I'm going to do politically yet," Brown said. "I'm just re-charging the batteries."
Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor faces her first re-election test as a senator next year. Recent polling suggests she is popular heading into the next election season.
Wayne Jennings, head of the National Cultural Diversity Awareness Council which hosted Thursday's event, encouraged Brown to run in New Hampshire.
"If folks in Massachusetts don't appreciate him down there, we would love to have him up here," Jennings said.
Harrell Kirstein, spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, jabbed Brown for being rejected by the voters who know him best just six months ago.
"New Hampshire Republicans are clearly in a state of utter panic if they are recruiting failed Massachusetts politicians like Scott Brown," he said.