Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) has announced that he will not be seeking the governor’s office in 2014. Bay State Republicans had hoped that he would succeed Democratic governor Deval Patrick, who will return to the private sector once his term ends. But all hope is not lost for Brown fans: The one-term senator has not ruled out a presidential run in 2016.
Tonight I announced that I will not be running for Governor of MA in 2014. As I said, I am grateful for your encouragement and support. For the first time in 15 plus years, I have had a Summer to spend with my family. In addition, I have been fortunate to have private sector opportunities that I find fulfilling and exhilarating. These new opportunities have allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I want to continue with that process.
The former senator has dropped some hints that he may actually be holding out for a presidential run in 2016. Brown traveled to battleground Iowa for the annual Iowa State Fair in August to test the waters, and told the Boston Herald, “I want to get an indication of whether there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bipartisan problem solver.”
Scott Brown sprang to fame in 2010 when he came from behind to win the special election against Democratic candidate, Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley, for the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat. Two years later he was defeated by Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and has since been flirting with the idea of making a comeback in electoral politics.
In his announcement that he will not be running for governor Brown said, “It doesn’t mean, however, that I am not going to be participating in the political process.” He described why he believes another run for office may be in the cards for him, “I have a very, I think powerful message that needs to be told, that people are asking me to go around the country and the world to give them about the dysfunctionalilty [sic] of the Senate, and about Congress, and about the lack of balance here in Massachusetts.”
Over the past few months Brown has hinted at running for Massachusetts governor, a Senate run in New Hampshire, a shot at the White House, and now some strategists speculate he may be waiting to challenge recently elected Massachusetts senator Ed Markey in 2014.
New Hampshire Republican strategist Jim Merrill told The Boston Globe that Brown ought to be careful in suggesting runs for various offices. “I like and respect Scott Brown a great deal, but it’s time for him to get serious about what office he wants to run for.” Merrill said, “I think people are getting a little tired of him saying, each week, what different office he wants to run for.”
On the other hand, Brown may in fact not be interested in running for office at all. After making a name for himself as the first Republican to be elected to U.S. Senate from Massachusetts since 1972, Brown could just be interested in maintaining name recognition. GOP strategist Jason Kauppi said of Brown’s decision to stay out of the governor’s race, “Is anyone really surprised? I think Senator Brown was probably having some fun with all of it, keeping people guessing.”
Whatever his motives, Brown is certainly testing the field. “It’s 2013, I think it’s premature, but I am curious,” Brown said of his rumored presidential ambitions. “There’s a lot of good name recognition in the Dakotas and here—that’s pretty good.”
Photo: Office of Governor Patrick via Flickr.com