Sources: Scott Brown moving closer to Senate run, probably won’t try for governorship in 2014
Scott Brown is moving ahead with behind-the-scenes preparations for a 2013 Senate campaign to fill secretary of state nominee John Kerry’s seat, Massachusetts political insiders told The Daily Caller.
Insiders believe that Brown is strongly leaning toward running in a 2013 Senate special election against veteran Democratic congressman Ed Markey, rather than waiting a year and running for the Massachusetts governorship in 2014.
Kerry is expected to be confirmed as secretary of state, and Markey has all but cleared the Democratic field by announcing his candidacy for the seat.
Key Brown staffers are currently making a “full-court press” to line up state representative endorsements for Kirsten Hughes, one of Brown’s 2012 campaign finance directors, who is running for the Massachusetts GOP chairperson position against conservative businessman Rick Green. The election will be held Thursday in Natick.
The race, currently a virtual tie, is crucial for Brown’s Senate candidacy. If Hughes wins, Brown will have an experienced campaign operative and 2012 staffer in the state chair position as he attempts to pick up his existing campaign infrastructure and quickly put together a new operation.
Green’s support comes from conservatives hoping to build a competitive long-term infrastructure, rather than merely choose another “stop-gap” chairperson who will only lead the party through one election cycle.
Despite the rift, Green previously vowed to TheDC that he will support Brown “100 percent” if he is elected chairman and Brown chooses to run in 2013.
“I am certain that party insiders will line up behind Brown when he announces (I believe there is only a slight chance of ‘if’),” a Massachusetts Republican insider told TheDC, suggesting that Brown’s sights are set firmly on 2013.
Though he has been out of office since January 3 after a 2012 electoral defeat to Elizabeth Warren, who benefited from her placement below President Barack Obama on the November ballot, Brown has remained in the center of the Bay State’s political discussion.
Brown leads Markey by 22 points in a hypothetical special election race, according to a poll released last week by MassINC Polling Group.
Brown first publicly discussed challenging Markey in the special election four weeks ago during a Boston radio interview. “I’ll tell you what; They’re making it awfully tempting. You got Ed Markey: Does he even live here any more?” Brown joked, referring to 19-term congressman Markey’s residence in Maryland.
“You’ve got to check the travel records. I’ve come back and forth [from Washington to Boston] every weekend, almost, for three years, and I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane — ever,” Brown said.
Brown drew a large and devoted crowd for a book signing January 20 in Acton alongside Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr. Brown gave advice to young fans and even made a sly joking reference to Warren’s campaign rhetoric about “millionaires and billionaires.”
Brown’s continued dominance of the Massachusetts political pages has not escaped notice from state Democrats. Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman John Walsh said this month, “I think Scott Brown is a faker.”
Brown is also garnering notice on a national level.
Brown sparked a media sensation with a series of late-night tweets Friday that liberal media outlets suspected were the result of a “few glasses of wine.” Brown tweeted and deleted the phrase “whatever” to several Twitter hecklers, once misspelling it as “Bqhatevwr.”
The tweets, which a source close to Brown confirmed came from the senator himself, elicited many positive and playful responses across the blogosphere.
Follow Patrick on Twitter