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Mass. GOP State Sen. Brown To Run For U.S. Senate

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Massachusetts state Sen. Scott Brown in February 2006. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Massachusetts state Sen. Scott Brown in February 2006. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Republican state Sen. Scott Brown announced Saturday that he's running for the late Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat, saying Massachusetts' all-Democratic Congressional delegation needs an "independent thinker."

Brown acknowledged he would be outspent and out-organized by his opponents, and noted that even President Obama has expressed interest in who would win the seat vacated by a Democratic icon. But Brown said he'd beaten long odds before.

"This Senate seat doesn't belong to any one person, or political party," he said Saturday. "It belongs to you, the people, and the people deserve a U.S. senator who will always put your interests first."

Brown's announcement comes a day after former White House chief of staff Andrew Card, a Republican, said he wouldn't run. Brown had said he would step aside if Card, who served under President George W. Bush, entered the race.

Canton selectman Bob Burr is the only other Republican to declare a candidacy.

On the Democratic side, state Attorney General Martha Coakley has entered the race. U.S. Reps. Michael Capuano, Stephen Lynch and John Tierney also have said they're considering running.

Rep. Edward Markey, Democrat of Malden, says he won’t jump into the race. Markey has been in the House for 33 years and is chairman of an energy subcommittee. He said he decided not to run because he feels he can do more for the state in his current position in the House.

Brown, 50, is serving his third Senate term after serving three terms in the Massachusetts House. He's married with two college-age daughters.

Brown said Saturday that he admired Kennedy's passion and hoped to bring the same level of devotion to the job. Kennedy died last month of brain cancer at age 77.

But Brown also highlighted sharp differences with key Democratic proposals, including government-run health care and this year's federal stimulus bill, which he said has failed to create the jobs it promised.

"In Washington, the politicians mistakenly believe that spending more money and growing the size of government is the answer. They are wrong," Brown said. "I believe that it is the private sector — small businesses and entrepreneurs — that will get our economy moving again."

This program aired on September 12, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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