WASHINGTON — Would Scott Brown run again for a Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat? Could he have the chance in a matter of months?
“We’ll see what happens,” Brown told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. “I’m not even thinking about it right now.”
Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeated Brown, a Republican, on Nov. 6. But political observers note that it’s possible he could return to the Senate very soon if President Barack Obama appoints John Kerry, the state’s senior U.S. senator, to a cabinet position.
Kerry’s name has emerged as a potential successor to Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and as a possible replacement for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Clinton has indicated she’s ready to leave her post.
If Kerry should leave the Senate, Massachusetts law requires the governor to temporarily appoint a replacement. But a special election would be called to fill the vacant seat until Kerry’s next scheduled re-election opportunity in 2014.
Ironically, the Massachusetts legislature changed its law in 2004 to require a special election — out of fears that GOP Gov. Mitt Romney would appoint a fellow Republican to the Senate if Kerry had won the presidential race.
In a press conference Tuesday, Brown wouldn’t say whether he’d run if Kerry took a cabinet post. “First of all, it is speculation,” he said. “There’s no vacancy that I’m aware of.”
The outgoing senator said his “biggest job right now is to make sure that there’s a smooth transition from my office to the senator-elect’s office.”
“I’m gonna make sure that there’s no constituents that fall through the cracks,” he said.
But Brown appeared to leave the door open to running again.
“I plan to continue a role of some sort,” he said. “I don’t know what yet. But I know that I’ve been very happy to be here.”
Asked by a reporter if he’d run for governor, Brown said: “Well, first of all, once again, I have a job to do right now and there is not an opening right now for governor. Nor is there an opening for senator. But there is an opening for a dad and a husband. And that’s the role that I want to play.”