EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 15, 2014

Ex-Mass. US Sen. Brown launches NH Senate bid

NASHUA, N.H. — In a move cheered by Republicans nationwide, former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown yesterday declared he wants to “stop complaining and get involved again” by formally joining the race against Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

The longtime Massachusetts resident, who recently moved into his seacoast New Hampshire vacation home, launched an exploratory committee to enter the Senate race during a Republican conference here, ending months of speculation about his intentions.

While Brown has yet to file formal candidacy papers, his decision all but assures the GOP will have a top-tier contender who, win or lose come November, helps his party’s national push to claim the Senate majority — a shift that could fundamentally reshape the final two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency.

Underscoring the significance of Brown’s move, the Washington-based Republican ally American Crossroads immediately announced plans to invest $650,000 in a television advertising campaign against Shaheen beginning next week. Strategists on both sides are warning that the contest could quickly become the most expensive in state history.

Brown, facing a packed hotel ballroom last night, said his wife told him he should run for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire if he really wants to make a difference.

“Honey, you are right,” he said just before the crowd gave him a standing ovation. “I’m going to stop complaining and get involved again.”

Recent polls give Shaheen a solid lead in a prospective matchup, but Brown’s near-universal name recognition in a Massachusetts border state and his national fundraising network makes him a serious contender on Day 1.

Brown rose to national prominence by winning the 2010 special election to replace the late Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy but was soundly defeated in his first re-election test against Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012. His first race, like this year’s New Hampshire contest, hinged on the popularity of Obama’s health care overhaul.

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