Scott Brown has decided not to run in the special election for the U.S. Senate seat of newly tapped Secretary of State John Kerry.
The decision of the former Massachusetts senator — a well-liked GOP power player — means Kerry’s seat will likely stay with the Democrats.
"I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time," Brown, 53, said in a statement.
"And I know it's not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me."
A Public Polling Policy survey released this week found that Massachusetts Republicans would rather see Brown run for governor.
In addition, the poll found a race between Brown and Democratic front-runner Rep. Ed Markey to replace Kerry would have been a squeaker, with Brown leading Markey by only three percentage points — 48 to 45 percent — for the Senate seat.
And, according to the poll, the GOP believes there will be a weaker field of Democratic challengers, with current two-term Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, saying he will not seek re-election.
Brown was ousted in November by Elizabeth Warren, just two years after winning a special election following the death of longtime Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.
With Brown’s bow-out, Republicans must now scramble for a candidate to enter the election, to be held on June 25.
The Washington Post says the GOP could zero in on Richard Tisei, the former state senator who lost to Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2012.
“It’s definitely, at this point, an option that I’m looking seriously at,” Tisei — a Republican rarity who is openly gay and pro-abortion — told The Hill in a recent interview.
Markey is seen as the likely Democratic candidate, but he faces a primary challenge from Rep. Stephen Lynch.
Earlier this week, Kerry was confirmed by Senate lawmakers to be President Obama’s next secretary of state, necessitating the special election. Gov. Patrick appointed his former chief of staff Mo Cowan as Kerry’s interim replacement until the election is held.
In a radio interview last month, Brown did not directly respond when asked if he planned to run. But he admitted the idea of pursuing a path back to the Senate was “awfully tempting.”
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