Sunday, December 22, 2013

Scott Brown moves to New Hampshire

When New Hampshire Republicans gather Thursday evening for their annual holiday fundraiser, they'll be hoping for a little gift from the event's star, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown: an answer. 
Brown, 54, has moved to New Hampshire. He's planning to register to vote there, he told the Rye town clerk. But, after a dozen political appearances in the state and a $10,000 donation to the state GOP, is he also planning to run for office there?
"People here are starting to say, politely, fish or cut bait,'' says Tom Rath, a New Hampshire campaign adviser to Republicans for 30 years. "You can only keep the show on the road so long and then you've got to bring it to Broadway.'' 
After losing his Senate seat in 2012 to Elizabeth Warren, Brown passed on two races in Massachusetts — last year's Senate special election and next year's governor's race. But he has made frequent trips to New Hampshire, where he has a vacation home and where Republicans are looking for a challenger for first-term Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, elected in 2008 after serving as governor.
Of course, plenty of ambitious politicians regularly visit New Hampshire. (New York Republican Rep. Peter King has made seven trips this year as he tests the waters for a 2016 presidential run.) 
Rath says Brown hasn't tried to enlist influential Republicans in the state. "I have not been called nor have I been called by anybody who has been called,'' he says. 
The speculation Brown may run has reached such a pitch that New Hampshire Democrats held a press call Thursday to blast him as "Wall Street's guy" and Brown himself put out a statement.
"My returning to New Hampshire is strictly personal,'' he wrote in a statement as posted by WMUR in Manchester. "I have nothing to announce with regard to my future political plans.'' 
Brown is just now starting to network, says Jim Merrill, the Republican state finance chair. "Earlier in the year he was doing events here and there. I don't think he was laying groundwork. But there is evidence now that he is beginning to reach out.'' He thinks Brown could bring some optimism to a state party that lost heavily in 2012 elections. 
There's no question he could be a very strong viable candidate,'' says New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn. "I've heard very positive feedback. He's got a strong message of fiscal conservatism. He's been very articulate on what's wrong with Obamacare.''
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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