What Does Scott Brown’s Return to Politics Mean for NH?
A ghost from New Hampshire's political past took his first step Wednesday towards a return to the scene with the resurrection of his political action group.
Scott Brown is a Republican who completed Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate term after his death in 2010. He declared residency in New Hampshire and has a house in Rye.
Brown established himself politically in New Hampshire after losing to Elizabeth Warren in his re-election bid in 2012. Brown lost to Jeanne Shaheen in 2014.
After serving as the United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in the Trump Administration after he became president, Brown became CEO and Dean of the Faculty of New England Law in Boston. He submitted his resignation on Wednesday as first reported by the Boston Globe.
"In the months ahead, I look forward to re-engaging in the political arena in support of
candidates and causes who share my vision of rebuilding the Republican Party and moving our country beyond the partisan gridlock – goals that were incompatible with my role as the leader of a non-partisan academic institution," Brown wrote in his letter of resignation.
What's Brown's next move?
What does Brown's revival of his PAC mean for New Hampshire politics? SNHU Civic Scholar Dean Spiliotes told Seacoast Current it depends on what he does with his PAC's money.
"The language we're hearing from him is about working in a bipartisan fashion and he supported a bipartisan committee on January 6. That's not necessarily him coming into New Hampshire and trying to out-Trump the other folks," Spiliotes said.
Brown still has his home in Rye and would consider a run for office after 2022, a source told WMUR. It's not clear if he will endorse any candidates including for the First Congressional District which includes Rye.
The primary will likely include two candidates with close ties to the Trump Administration. Karoline Leavitt, 23, has already announced her candidacy and plays up her role in the Trump White House press office and her MAGA credentials. Matt Mowers is expected to make his second run for the seat official after Labor Day.
However, they may not welcome Brown's endorsement after he told CNN that Trump "bears responsibility" for the January 6 insurrection at the Capital.
"I think his presidency was diminished as a result of this, and I think he's paying a price. He's been impeached twice. He was impeached for those actions," Brown said.
A possible run for office
As far as a political run, Spiliotes thinks he might want to run for governor especially since he's lost two U.S. Senate elections.
"I think there are a number of people who are waiting to see what happens with the GOP once it gets past the current fixation with Trump and a Trump-like approach to politics. Does he see himself as a counterbalancing force in the GOP? Is he going to try and have it both ways a little like Gov. Chris Sununu?" Spiliotes said.
It's also not a sure thing his political future is in New Hampshire.
"My guess is that whatever he does will be more likely focused on New Hampshire than Massachusetts but in theory, he could play in the region if he has enough money to gift candidates," Spiliotes said.
He expects Brown will continue to host his barbeques for any major national Republican player, especially in the 2024 presidential race.
"I think it's an opportunity to wield potentially a little political power," Spiliotes said.