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Scott Brown still toying with N.H. run

Set to register to vote in the state

Scott Brown has made speeches in New Hampshire and has lent his name and time to raise funds for GOP candidates.Will Wrobel/The Telegraph via Associated Press

He’s planning to register to vote in the Granite State. He will headline a big New Hampshire Republican holiday party Thursday. And an outside political group is spending significant sums of money across the New Hampshire, encouraging him to run against Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

This much is clear: Scott Brown is moving north.

But what he will do as a New Hampshire resident now that he is set to sell his Wrentham home remains a political parlor game.

Brown does not have a campaign team, nor has he been gathering the activist-by-
activist support needed to win a GOP primary in a state where face time is political currency, according to a number of New Hampshire Republicans.


“Honestly, it’s baffling what he’s doing,” said Dave Carney, a longtime national Republican strategist and consultant who lives in Hancock, N.H. “I don’t know what his end game is. I think if he wants to run for the US Senate he should get in the race.

“New Hampshire voters are not interested in begging candidates to run for office,” he said, noting there are three other GOP Senate candidates working to lock up support.

Other Republicans said the state party has expressed interest in a Brown run, but the former Massachusetts senator has not begun to make a hard push.

“I haven’t seen any activity [from] him reaching out to key endorsement people or key donors or anything like that in the state,” said New Hampshire Republican consultant Jamie Burnett.

Over the last year, Brown has made speeches in the state, formed a political action committee to raise money, and has lent his name and time to raise funds for GOP candidates.

Republicans in the state believe he could overcome the obstacle of having been a senator from another state as recently as the beginning of this year. But, they say, he would need to step up his efforts.


Brown did not respond to calls, an e-mail, and a text message seeking comment Tuesday.

But a Republican strategist who has spoken with Brown recently said that while the former senator would indeed sell his house and move from Wrentham to Rye, making the coastal New Hampshire town his primary residence, he has not yet made a decision on whether to run.

“Right now, this is a one-man show: It’s just Scott playing with the idea of running,” that strategist said.

Elizabeth M. Yeaton, Rye’s town clerk and tax collector, said Brown is not yet a registered voter in Rye, but has informed her directly that he plans to become one.

“He has not given me a date when he plans to do so, but said it would be soon,” she said.

Some New Hampshire political insiders believe that, despite a June filing deadline for the primary, Brown needs to make a decision soon, to be a viable candidate.

“I think someone could get in to the Senate race as late as January or February, but not later than that,” said Republican Charlie Arlinghaus, president of The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-
market think tank in New Hampshire.

Brown has defied expectations before, most notably winning an upset 2010 Senate special election. In 2012, he was unseated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, and is now a paid Fox News contributor and an attorney at the firm of Nixon Peabody LLP.


Andrew I. Glincher, chief executive officer there, told Bloomberg Monday that Brown would continue to practice law in Massachusetts for the time being after moving to New Hampshire.

A Fox News spokeswoman told the Globe that if Brown authorizes an exploratory committee to be formed for a run, his on-air agreement would then be terminated.

Shaheen, who was elected to the Senate in 2008, was the target of television and Web ads that began airing Tuesday.

Democrats, who are bullish on Shaheen’s chances in a state that knows her well, knocked back against Brown Tuesday.

“If Scott Brown decides to run, he’ll have a lot more to explain than his out-of-state license plates,” Harrell Kirstein, a New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman, said in a statement. “He epitomizes the revolving door of politics. The people who know him best learned quickly that Scott Brown’s only priority is Scott Brown, and if he runs for Senate or president, New Hampshire voters will rapidly reach the same conclusion.”

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.