Scott Brown’s 2014 gubernatorial prospects fading as friend Charlie Baker moves toward run

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Former Republican Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown’s fractured relationships with Massachusetts Republicans will likely prevent him from staging a 2014 gubernatorial campaign in the state, according to Massachusetts Republican insiders.

Brown, who has been rumored to be considering a run for the governorship next year, recently inked lucrative deals with the politically-connected law firm Nixon Peabody and Fox News Channel, adding two prominent items to the opposition research folder that would be used against him in the heavily Democratic and progressive state.

Brown actively campaigned on behalf of his 2012 campaign staffer Kirsten Hughes, who ran for Massachusetts GOP chairmanship early this year in a divisive race against conservative businessman Rick Green. Insiders viewed the chairman race as a choice between a mid-level Brown staffer who could help Brown quickly assemble a special election campaign, and a conservative who pledged to build the state party’s grassroots infrastructure in the long term for legislative races.

Brown personally made calls to state party insiders and informed them that he would only enter the 2013 special election race for John Kerry’s vacated Senate seat if they elected Hughes over Green, according to one insider.

Hughes won the race February 1 with 41 votes to Green’s 39 on a second ballot after the first ballot was contested. Brown texted Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr Feb. 1 with the message, “U r the first to know I am not running.”

Brown’s abrupt move angered many Massachusetts Republicans, and it would be very difficult for Brown to win a Republican primary in 2014, one insider told The Daily Caller.

Brown’s friend and fellow Republican Charlie Baker, an executive at General Catalyst Partners who ran for governor in 2010, has been making “overt moves” behind-the-scenes in exploring another gubernatorial run, leading insiders to suspect that Brown will not seek the 2014 GOP nomination.

Baker sat for an interview with WCVB reporter Janet Wu last week, in which he said that he and Brown would not challenge each other in a 2014 primary. Baker said that he will make his decision by the fall, and that the main factor in his decision will be, “Can I win?”

Baker has also been instructing his closest finance consultants not to get involved in the 2013 Republican Senate primary, which might them against each other on different campaigns. Baker wants his team to have unity heading into 2014.

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