Massachusetts conservatives opposing Scott Brown’s efforts to restructure state GOP

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Massachusetts conservatives are opposing outgoing Republican Sen. Scott Brown’s attempt to restructure the state GOP in preparation for his potential 2013 Senate campaign, insiders have confirmed.

Brown’s 2012 campaign deputy finance director, Kirsten Hughes, announced her candidacy to become Massachusetts Republican chairperson with a letter to committee members Dec. 6, one day after outgoing chairman Robert Maginn announced his resignation from the post.

Hughes’ candidacy is perceived to be the possible first step in Brown’s next campaign.

Speculation currently swirls that Brown, who lost his seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in November, will vie for secretary of state nominee John Kerry’s Senate seat in a 2013 special election if Kerry is confirmed for the Obama cabinet post.

The 35-year-old Hughes is described by insiders as a “mid-level staffer” whose ties to Brown comprise most of her qualifications for the chairperson job.

“Just look at her website,” said one source close to Massachusetts politics.

Hughes was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2008 and served as field director for the Massachusetts GOP in 2010, working on state legislative campaigns, before going to work for Brown. She was elected to the Quincy City Council in 2011.

Her campaign for state chair, after 13 days, is currently “liked” by 44 people on Facebook.

Conservatives are pushing back against Hughes — and, by extension, Brown.

Feeling that Brown’s “people over party” slogan, which he used to compete for Democratic crossover votes in 2012, damaged the grassroots conservative base that Brown himself helped build, conservatives are lining up behind Hughes’ challenger for the state chair position, entrepreneur Rick Green.

Green’s online auto parts company counts more than $50 million in annual revenue and 100 employees. He also recently served as the chairman of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a grassroots fiscal conservative organization.

Green’s campaign ad currently tops the homepage of RedMassGroup, the insider political blog considered the “Drudge Report of Massachusetts.”

That Brown has gone from a tea party-backed grassroots candidate in 2010 to the figurehead of the state’s Republican establishment in less than three years is an irony not lost on political insiders.

Nevertheless, Green is not holding the same grudge that many of his supporters feel.

“I’m running to unify the state party,” Green told The Daily Caller. “I will support Scott Brown 100 percent if he chooses to run again.”

TheDC has reached out to Hughes for comment.

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