By Warren Talbot
Former Republican Sen. Scott Brown today put an end to all the speculation and officially announced he will not be a candidate in a special election to fill Democrat John Kerry's seat in the U.S. Senate.
Brown issued a written statement saying he did not relish the idea of running a third Senate campaign in four years and "the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left."
He had been expected to be a shoe-in for the GOP nomination for the special election, but in his rather surprising statement he said there may be better ways to continue in public service.
Some have observed that he may take a run for governor.
Brown was defeated in November for a full term by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a bruising campaign. He had won the seat in a special election in 2010 following the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
“Representing Massachusetts in the United States Senate was the greatest privilege of my life, an experience that takes second place only to my marriage to Gail and the birth of our daughters. It was a higher honor than I had ever expected, and in the time given to me I always tried to make the most of it," Brown said in his statement.
Brown apparently knew for some time this would be his decision as state Republican leaders were quick to releases their own statements of reaction.
MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes said in a statement the party still remains "optimistic about the special election...because of the strength, character and accomplishments of the many potential candidates who are today considering their political futures."
The statement did not say who those potential candidates are.
“Members of our party have an unparalleled level of energy and commitment to the Republican cause. This special election will unite us in the shared purpose of again electing a Republican to the United States Senate. We shocked the world in 2010, and united, we can do it again,” Huges said.
“When I was first sent to the Senate in early 2010, it wasn’t exactly welcome news for President Obama or many other Democrats. Yet among my best memories from those three years in office are visits to the White House to see the President sign into law bills that I had sponsored," Brown said.
Kerry's seat has become up for grabs with Kerry's appointment as U.S. Secretary of State. Gov. Deval Patrick this week appointed his former chief of staff William "Mo" Cowan, to fill the seat on an interim basis until the election in June.
"I left office last month on the best of terms with colleagues both Republican and Democrat. I had worked well with so many of them, regardless of party, to serve the public interest just as we are all supposed to. All of this was in keeping with the pledge I made at the beginning to do my own thinking and to speak for the independent spirit of our great state," Brown said in his statement.
“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," the statement said.
“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. And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me," the statement said..
“That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election.”
With Brown out of the running, potential Republican candidates include former Gov. William Weld and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.
Weld, who recently returned to Massachusetts to join Mintz Levin, a Boston law firm, has said he would consider a run for the Senate if Brown did not seek the seat. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment.U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch are seeking the Democratic nomination.
Lynch, of South Boston issued a statement 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.”
Republicans are already taking shots at Markey and Lynch.
"The fact is the Democratic Party will field a mediocre congressman with a highly partisan record who has been part of the Washington gridlock. A Republican Senator from Massachusetts will offer the bipartisan leadership to solve our nation's problems," Hughes of the .
The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for April 30 and the special election for June 25.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.