In something of a surprise, former Sen. Scott Brown will not run for the Senate seat recently vacated by incoming Secretary of State John Kerry.
Brown’s decision effectively keeps the seat in Democratic hands. Brown, who lost his seat to Elizabeth Warren in November, was the only viable Republican candidate to challenge Democratic Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch.
Markey is considered the heavy early favourite in the race. According to a recent poll from Public Policy Polling, Markey leads Lynch 52 per cent to 19 per cent. The Democratic primary is expected to be held on April 30.
There was some speculation Brown would sit out this round to run for Massachusetts governor in 2014. If he entered this race, it would have been his third in three years — and another loss could have meant a crushing blow to his political career.
Brown was first elected to the Senate in 2010 in a special election after the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Here’s Brown’s full statement:
“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 honour than I had ever expected, and in the time given to me I always tried to make the most of it.
“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. 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.
“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.
“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.
“That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election.”
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