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May 27, 2017

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Brown eyes Senate seat for New Hampshire

WASHINGTON--He's finally in — well, almost.

After months of teasing supporters, plotting strategy and moving from one state to another, Republican ex-senator Scott Brown announced Friday he is readying another run, one that could help his party snatch a seat from rival Democrats.

This time, the former Massachusetts lawmaker will be launching his campaign from the neighboring state of New Hampshire, where he has long owned a vacation home, in order to run against freshman Senate Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

"I'm going to stop complaining and get involved again. So I am announcing that I have formed an exploratory committee to prepare a campaign for the U.S. Senate," Brown told an ecstatic crowd at a Republican Party gathering in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The race promises to be one of the most closely-watched — and expensive — of the year, as Republicans would see it as one of the six net seats they would need to take from Democrats in November's mid-term elections in order to win control of the Senate.

In a sign Shaheen is worried about Brown, her campaign has sent out fundraising emails mentioning him as a rival weeks before Brown's announcement.

Shaheen has been leading most New Hampshire polls, but Republicans consider her vulnerable because of her support of President Barack Obama's health care law, which many Americans see as unpopular.

"There's only one way to get rid of Obamacare once and for all, and that is to get rid of the Obamacare Democrats who rammed it through Congress and forced it upon the American people," Brown said.

He did not publicly state he is the party candidate, but Brown's announced move is crucial in that it allows him to hire staff and start raising money.

In a further sign he is running, Fox News, where he has been a political commentator, ended its contract with Brown when he told the television network of his plans.

The charismatic 54-year-old stunned the U.S. political establishment in early 2010 by winning a special election in liberal Massachusetts to fill the seat of iconic Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, who died months earlier.

Brown took moderate positions in the Senate, perhaps to win support from a more liberal electorate back home.

But he was sent packing from Washington in less than three years when he was defeated by rising liberal star Elizabeth Warren.

Brown has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate.

Should he run in November, a lot would ride on the outcome of the race, as two Senate losses in two different states would darken his future political prospects.

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