In a move cheered by Republicans nationwide, former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown on Friday declared he wants to “to stop complaining and get involved again” by formally joining the race against Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Brown’s decision gives the GOP a top-tier contender who, win or lose come November, helps his party’s national push to claim the Senate majority — a shift that could fundamentally reshape the final two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency.
The longtime Massachusetts resident, who recently moved into his seacoast New Hampshire vacation home, formally launched an exploratory committee to enter the Senate race during a Republican conference in Nashua, ending months of speculation about his intentions.
Brown said his wife told him he should run for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire if he really wants to make a difference.
“Honey, you are right,” he said. “I’m going to stop complaining and get involved again.”
While recent polls give Shaheen a solid lead in a prospective matchup, Brown’s near-universal name recognition in a Massachusetts border state and his national fundraising network makes him a serious contender on Day 1.
Brown rose to national prominence by winning the 2010 special election to replace the late Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy but he was soundly defeated in his first re-election test against Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012.
Brown declined to enter a 2013 special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, citing the strains of running a third Senate campaign in less than four years and partisan gridlock in Washington.