Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Ayotte: Scott Brown Would Be ‘Very Strong Candidate’ for Senate in N.H.

Ayotte praised Brown's work in the Senate (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Boston Globe reported Friday that national Republicans are actively recruiting former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown to run again — this time in New Hampshire.

With former Rep. Charles Bass the latest Republican to take a pass on the Senate race, the party is still in search of a top-tier challenger to take on Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran told the Globe that despite the speculation that Brown is simply flirting with a bid, he doesn’t think the former senator “is just fooling around.”

Of course, a successful Brown Senate bid would be nearly unprecedented. Just two senators have ever represented more than one state in the Senate, and it hasn’t happened since the 1870s, according to a list maintained by the Senate Historical Office.

“It will be uphill, no question about it, for him,” former Rep. Jeb Bradley, who also took a pass on this race, told CQ Roll Call. “But I think he’s certainly got as good a chance as any Republican that I can think of to be successful.”

New Hampshire’s other senator echoed that sentiment, believing that Brown would help expand the Senate landscape into New England.

“I served with Sen. Brown, I have a lot of respect for him,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said inside the Capitol on Tuesday in a brief interview with CQ Roll Call. “It’s up to him whether he’s going to run. But absolutely he’d be a very strong candidate.”

If Brown is planning to run for Senate, he’s not showing it by building any semblance of a campaign operation, according to operatives in the state. And Brown’s trips to Iowa, including one scheduled for next week, aren’t deflating talk that he’s considering a presidential bid.

Those who spoke with CQ Roll Call noted that Brown should come to a conclusion soon, as the appearance of flirting is not often rewarded by Granite State voters. Steve Duprey, a Republican National Committee member from New Hampshire, believes Brown would make an excellent candidate but said he hopes he’s nearing a decision.

“I think if Sen. Brown waits too much longer it will be difficult for him to run,” Duprey said. “Traditionally, New Hampshire voters haven’t liked candidates who do a long dance about whether they’re in or not. The field is wide open, but I would encourage him to make a decision soon.”

Shaheen, who state Republicans conceded is a formidable incumbent, continues to enjoy strong favorability numbers. She led Bass by 17 points in a hypothetical matchup in the WMUR Granite State Poll released last month. But state and national Republicans believe she could be be vulnerable with the right opponent.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire Democrats are ready to go on the offensive against Brown, tying him to Wall Street and an “anti-women agenda.”

“Last year, the Massachusetts voters who knew him best rejected Scott Brown’s record; he shouldn’t expect different results in New Hampshire,” state Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein said in an email.

The race is rated Democrat Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Baldy1957

    We don’t need another RINO, much as Kelley is proving to be! Repub first, conservative when convenient.

  • Tama

    They only elect RINO’s in the northeast. That’s the best we can get

  • Eisenhower

    Ugh, a Masshole vs. Shaheen. Looks like I’m voting for Jim Rubens. (eye roll)

  • tpartynitwit

    Scooter bailed on the MA Senate race for Kerry’s seat at the last possible moment, declined to get his ass kicked in the MA GOP Gubernatorial primary, yapped about running for POTUS (LULZ!) while eating cheesedogs in Iowa, and now the Party’s trying to shame him onto political suicide against Shaeen. Maybe his law firm shouldn’t have told him to pretend he’s running for whatever is open wherever he happens to be running his yap. “Duhhhhhhhhhhhhh………….BARN COAT!………………Derrrrrrrrrrrrrr…………PICKUP TRUCK!………Uhhhhhhhhhhhh………..BARN COAT?! –I’m Scott Brown, and I approve this message…………I guess.”

  • tpartynitwit

    Brownie bailed out of the MA senate race at the last possible moment, demurred when it came time to decide to run for MA Governor, which he’d said he was interested in, yapped about running for POTUS in Iowa, and is now pretending to have interest in getting his tucchus kicked in by Jean Shaheen in….where is it this time?,,,,,,,,oh yeah, NH! “Derrrrrrrrrrr…………BARN COAT!………Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…………PICKUP TRUCK!” –I’m Scott Brown, and I approve this message………….I guess.”

  • tpartynitwit

    Scooter was born in NH. He’s all yours, bud.

  • tpartynitwit

    That’s exactly right, and it’s getting tougher as the taint of the national party hinders NE moderates like Charlie Baker.

  • nhshoals

    That squeeling sound is the sound of terrified democrats who know that a strong candidate would push on Jeanne Shaheen who has always been a lab dog for Reid and the rest of the Dem fools—oh did I mention that Shaheen supported o-care all the way and voted against people keeping their own health care that they already had.

    Now she and the rest of the rats are at the White House begging for help with this mess. Don’t look for the presidential imposter to help them. He is not a team player. He couldn’t even bring himself to apologize like a real man.
    She gets re-elected, and there is no hope of straightening this out. Hey Granny Shaheen don’t run and go back to Barrington and get in a rocking chair.

  • nhshoals

    NH is not going to elect a conservative who spouts all of the social agenda. Get serious. Vote for someone who can win. Drop all of the social ideas. They don’t win, and the independents will not support that candidiate.
    You ultra conservatives have already cost several seats in recent elections, Angle, O’Donnell, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina. Do you get the drift. Without centrist running, all of that far right agenda is going to keep all of you in the sideline pissin’ and moanin’!!!

  • nhshoals

    Well said. You have to lect people who can win. The far right nutjobs may have some ideas, but they are unelectable. Win a primary with small turnout, maybe. In a general election they get tarred and feathered by the press.

  • sumit1207

    New Hampshire is a blue state. It is completely surrounded by liberal population centers so any kind of in-migration turns it more blue. For example, Boston commuters…

    There’s a reason NH Dems are very cocky and NHGOP and begging for scraps by picking a former Massachusetts senator.

  • Eisenhower

    “Born on September 12, 1959, in Kittery, Maine, Scott Brown was part of the National Guard and worked as a lawyer before serving in the Massachusetts legislature from the late 1990s”

    Now Kittery is close enough where my friends can come across the border and by their groceries so their avoiding Maine’s Sale tax. But no kittery isn’t in NH, and Mr. Brown was not born in NH. And I really don’t feel like having to choose between a former Mainiac who went down to MA and lost, and now thinks he can get his job back up here simply because he has a summer home like all the other Massholes.

  • Eisenhower

    Begging for scraps is right. I’d prefer Bill Weld though over Scott Brown (ugh).

  • MichaelKennedy

    When Obamacare does a face plant, the race might look different.

  • MichaelKennedy

    Those Boston commuters are there for a reason if they would ever admit it to themselves.

  • Kirk Parker

    What a terrible idea! Is she really saying that NH is so bereft of qualified people that only someone from outside can represent the state?

  • JubaDoobai!

    Kelly Ayotte used Conservatives to become a senator then made common cause with the RINO’s. Now, she’s recommending another RINO to prevent much needed congressional reform. Way to go, Kelly!

  • AlCarn

    Kelly Ayotte is the worst type of Republican, she pretended to be one thing while running and after she was elected she showed her true stripes. The women is a liar and should not be taken seriously.

  • xgoper

    Better idea wait for 2016 and have Brown primary Ayotte out of office. NH is now a suburb of Ma, it’s a blue state except when they get pissed off like in 2010.

  • tpartynitwit

    My mistake, and I do apologize, the man is a world class dolt. If you want assistance toppling Mitt’s summer shack into Lake Winnpesaukee, I’m there. Second home owners are thoroughly obnoxious. We rent so as not to disturb.

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    Since the world is devoid of all-knowing people, liberty provides the leeway for each of us to adapt to the unknown conditions we will face.

  • kernals

    And that’s why new england didn’t send a single republican to congress last year

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