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Brown Won’t Run In Special Senate Election

Sen. Scott Brown, during his Election Night concession speech (Dominick Reuter for WBUR)

Sen. Scott Brown, during his Election Night concession speech (Dominick Reuter for WBUR)

BOSTON — Former Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown announced Friday he won’t run in a Massachusetts special election to fill Democrat John Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat.

“Over these past few weeks I have given serious thought about the possibility of running again,” Brown said in a statement. “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.”

Brown was defeated in November by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He had won the seat in a special election in 2010.

U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch are seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by Kerry, who is leaving the Senate to become secretary of state.

A December 2012 WBUR poll, conducted by the MassINC Polling Group, had found that Brown would have been in a strong position for a special election. The poll found that 58 percent of respondents held a favorable view of the Republican, and he had leads of 18 percentage points and 27 percentage points, respectively, in hypothetical one-on-one match-ups against Markey and Lynch.

The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for April 30 and the special election for June 25.

Gov. Deval Patrick has named William “Mo” Cowan, a former top aide, to fill the seat on an interim basis until the election.

– 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 honor 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.

– Lynch statement on Brown’s decision:

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.

– Markey statement on Brown’s decision:

I respect Scott Brown’s decision and know that he did what he thought was best for him and his family.

This race is about who will be the best voice for our families and our future here in Massachusetts. My record taking on the gun lobby, fighting against climate change, creating clean energy jobs, and standing up for middle class families is clear, and I want to bring this energy and passion to the U.S. Senate.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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