MANCHESTER, N.H. —He’s not even a candidate and hasn’t said he plans to be, but the fact that Scott Brown appears to have sold his home in Massachusetts in order to take up residency in Rye, N.H., has fanned the flames of speculation about a Senate run.
Many political observers believe the former Massachusetts Republican senator may be planning to run against U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. It would likely be a race that would gain national attention.
“From the party perspective, we are happy to welcome Sen. Brown to the state,” said Jennifer Horn, chairwoman of the New Hampshire GOP. “He’s one of many prominent Republicans who have come to the state to help us raise the resources we need to win in 2014.”
Horn said that if Brown decides to run for Senate, it would change the complexion of the ticket.
Democrats are calling the whole thing a farce.
“He just can’t make his mind up,” said Kathy Sullivan, former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “But the Republicans here are in such bad shape in trying to find a credible candidate for Senate, they’re acting like Julia Roberts in ‘Notting Hill,’ saying, ‘We’re just a party standing in front of a guy asking him to run for office.’ It’s getting crazy.”
“I think what it says is they know that Jeanne Shaheen is very vulnerable,” Horn said. “They know she has been a wallflower senator. She was the 60th vote for Obamacare.”
Few doubt that a Brown candidacy would bring some energy to the GOP. Brown has said he’s fascinated by the mania and speculation it all has generated.
Shaheen’s camp has used the prospect in fundraising efforts while her party continues to dismiss Brown as little more than a novelty.
“He’s not going to be elected to the Senate,” Sullivan said. “I have a better chance of winning Mega Millions than Scott Brown does of being elected a senator from New Hampshire.”
The current Republican Senate field consists of former Sen. Bob Smith, Jim Rubens and Karen Testerman.
Brown is set to headline the Republican holiday party in New Hampshire on Thursday.