The top GOP official in New Hampshire told Business Insider Friday party activists in the state are “excited” about former Republican Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown’s announcement he might run for U.S. Senate there. New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn said there was “a lot of energy” around Brown’s potential candidacy.
“Scott Brown has spent a lot of time up here in New Hampshire over the past year and certainly the feedback that I’ve gotten from an awful lot of our grassroots activists is that they are excited by the possibility. They’re eager to hear more from him,” Horn said.
Brown is a longtime Massachusetts resident who moved into his New Hampshire vacation home shortly before declaring his interest in the race. However, Horn said she’s not worried charges of carpetbagging would derail a potential Brown campaign.
“I think every candidate that gets into a race has to be able to convince voters that they care about them, they care about their families, they care about the state,” Horn said. “I think that Sen. Brown is going to have to be able to satisfy those concerns just like any other candidate would.”
Other New Hampshire Republicans have already declared their intent to run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. As party chairman, Horn said she’ll be staying neutral in the GOP primary.
“Former state Sen. Jim Rubens is in that race, Karen Testerman, and former Sen. Bob Smith are already in that race. As chairman, I think it’s important that I not take sides. I am mandated by our bylaws to remain neutral and I take that very seriously,” Horn said.
“What I say all the time is, it’s not my job to seed primaries. It’s also not my job to clear primaries. We’ve got some strong, articulate candidates in that race and the one who can convince primary voters that they will be able to launch the strongest case against Jeanne Shaheen and will be a strong, independent voice in Washington for the people of New Hampshire will be the one that wins.”
After Republicans won a special House race in Florida last week with an Obamacare-focused campaign, many GOP candidates are expected to use a similar strategy in this year’s elections. Horn said she believes Obamacare will be “the issue that pushes” the New Hampshire Senate race as well.
“I think the top issue is going to be the failed policies of Jeanne Shaheen and Barack Obama on healthcare. The United States of America would not have Obamacare if it wasn’t for Jeanne Shaheen,” Horn said. “I think Sen. Shaheen is very vulnerable.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.