Former Mass. U.S. Sen. Scott Brown Launches Senate Bid In N.H.

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Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is considering another run for the Senate, this time in New Hampshire.

Brown moved to New Hampshire and has been traveling the state for the past year, addressing Republican audiences here. He told a gathering of Republicans in Nashua that his wife, Gail Huff, has been urging him to run again.

"I'm going to stop complaining and get involved again," Brown said. "So I'm announcing today that I've formed an exploratory committee to prepare a campaign for United States Senate in New Hampshire."

Brown has spent his entire life in Massachusetts, so the first order on the agenda for him was to establish his New Hampshire credentials.

"So much of my life played out in Massachusetts and I'm very proud and thankful for those opportunities. But a big part of it was always right here in New Hampshire," Brown said. "I'd like to take a moment to reflect back for a moment, so we can actually move forward on facts. My mom and dad married at a very young age. My dad met Mom while she was a waitress at Hampton Beach, you've all been there."

Brown went on to talk emotionally about his grandparents, who lived in New Hampshire and who he says provided the one stable influence in a childhood during which he and his mother lived in 17 homes, he was beaten by stepfathers and sexually abused by a camp counselor.

Brown faces three opponents in the primary, but many Republicans in New Hampshire are thrilled that he is running. Jim Merrill was a senior adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney in New Hampshire during the last presidential campaign. He says Brown's announcement adds pressure to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as well as the Democratic party on the national level.

"Jeanne Shaheen is now in jeopardy of losing her seat in November, she will have to play defense," Merrill told WBUR. "She's going to spend a long summer and fall defending her fervent support for Obamacare, defending her 99 percent support with the president in 2013. I think for national Democrats they've got to put money into New Hampshire now to defend this seat that they didn't think they'd have to do, which takes money out of places like Arkansas and Louisiana, where they are in jeopardy as well. There's a domino effect here that a Brown entry creates."

Brown says he will begin a tour of New Hampshire to meet Republican party activists.

This segment aired on March 15, 2014.

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Fred Thys Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.



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