- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2014

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has officially launched an exploratory committee for a U.S. Senate bid in New Hampshire, giving a possible boost to Republicans looking to expand an already friendly map in their quest to flip six seats in the fall midterms and re-take control of the chamber.

“I’m a proud Republican, but I’ve always been able to work with every person of good will, whatever their party,” Mr. Brown told a crowd gathered Friday in Nashua at a Republican conference, according to prepared remarks. “And we sure need more of that spirit in Washington right now, if we’re going to rise to the big and fundamental challenges facing this nation.”

Mr. Brown said he’ll be listening even more closely to the public as he nears a “big decision and that he’s been paying attention in particular to his wife Gail, who’s been telling him if he really wants to make a difference he should jump into the race

“Starting tomorrow morning, and for the next several weeks, Gail and I will be traveling around the state to introduce ourselves, to ask questions, to speak with everyone of every background – Republicans, independents and Democrats alike – and above all to listen to them and learn of their concerns,” Mr. Brown said.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen appears to be in solid shape according to most public polls, but Mr. Brown’s instant name recognition and fundraising prowess would give Republicans a shot in the arm in their bid to deny Ms. Shaheen a second term. He became a folk hero among many in the GOP after winning a special election to fill the seat of the late Ted Kennedy in January 2010 in a race widely perceived to be an early rebuke of President Obama’s administration.

Even before Mr. Brown’s announcement Friday afternoon, advocacy groups on both sides were already assembling their chess pieces.

American Crossroads, the Republican Super PAC associated with former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, is planning to launch a $600,000 ad buy next week against Ms. Shaheen, multiple outlets reported.

In response to news of that buy, the pro-choice political advocacy group EMILY’s List blasted out a fundraising missive saying that “[w]e won’t let Scott Brown buy a new seat — and we won’t let the Republicans steal back the Senate.”

In a hypothetical match-up, Ms. Shaheen leads Mr. Brown by 7.2 percentage points in RealClearPolitics’ latest average of polls on the race.

In his first re-election bid, Mr. Brown lost to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, in 2012. He irked some in the party by flirting with — but ultimately opting against — running in a special election in 2013 to fill the seat of Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mr. Brown, who previously had a vacation home in New Hampshire, sold his Massachusetts home in December.

Earlier Friday, Fox News ended Mr. Brown’s contributor agreement after he told the network he planned to form the exploratory committee.

Scott Brown’s contributor agreement was officially terminated today once he notified FOX News of his intention to form an exploratory committee to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire,” Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, said in a statement.

In a statement posted to his Twitter account earlier Friday afternoon, Mr. Brown said that he has “enjoyed being a part of the Fox family” and that he is “extremely grateful to everyone at Fox for their friendship, & wish them all the best moving forward.”

“Their analysis & insight has helped hold politicians accountable for their actions especially on ObamaCare,” he wrote.

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