POLITICS: PennAve

Scott Brown hopes to ride a new electoral wave -- this time in New Hampshire

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Senate,New Hampshire,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Jeanne Shaheen,Scott Brown

NASHUA, N.H. -- In 2010, Scott Brown won a special election in Massachusetts that marked the beginning of a historic electoral wave, which would sweep Republicans to a House majority and net them six seats in the Senate.

Now, he hopes he can do it again.

"A big political wave is about to break in America, and the Obamacare Democrats are on the wrong side of it," Brown said Friday at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, as he announced that he will launch an exploratory committee — with, his allies predict, an official Senate campaign soon to follow.

Republicans across the country are, increasingly, embracing an optimistic outlook in line with Brown's. In states like Virginia and Colorado, not previously thought to be battleground states, Republican challengers have emerged in recent weeks to take on Democratic incumbents, and polls suggest they will be competitive.

The GOP can now add Brown in New Hampshire to that list.

There has been speculation for months that Brown would decide to challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and the buzz escalated when Brown moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire in December.

But despite nagging from New Hampshire Republicans and national Republicans to launch a bid, Brown only began making calls and assembling a team in recent weeks.

Brown also got a push from his wife, Gail Huff, who was with him Friday.

Huff, Brown said, has "been telling me that if I really want to make a difference then I should run for United States Senator in New Hampshire."

“Honey, you are right, I’m going to stop complaining and get involved again," Brown said. He received a standing ovation.

He might have a more trying time winning over New Hampshire voters, and Democrats are already working to define Brown as a self-interested carpetbagger.

Brown acknowledged that looming issue Friday as he spoke at length about "the people and neighborhoods I’ve known since I was a kid, starting right here in New Hampshire."

"So much of my life played out in Massachusetts, but a big part of it has always been here," Brown said, choking up at intervals as he told his parents' life stories and his own.

Brown also acknowledged the other elephant in the room: his loss to Warren in 2012, just one election cycle ago.

"Since 2012, we Republicans have had to do some serious thinking after a tough loss," Brown said. "I’ve done some reflecting myself, and as you might recall I came up short in my last campaign."

In that election, Brown ran on a relatively moderate platform. In 2010, he ran as a conservative icon. This year, in New Hampshire, where most voters in the state are registered independents, the electoral calculus will be entirely different and present its own challenges.

One element from his previous campaigns in Massachusetts that Brown appears eager to bring back is his iconic GMC pick-up truck, which he drove on the stump and has brought with him to New Hampshire.

"I’ve traveled so much in New Hampshire that I’m closing in on an important personal milestone: 300,000 miles on my truck," Brown said. "I’m pretty proud of that old GMC Canyon, and it’s sure looking good with those license plates that say, 'Live Free or Die,'" the New Hampshire state motto.

Before he makes his Senate campaign official, Brown plans to wrack up a few more miles on his truck on a listening tour of sorts, traveling through New Hampshire with his wife.

Most of the other pieces are already in place for Brown to move forward with his bid.

On Friday, Brown's campaign announced it will bring on as a senior adviser Andy Leach, who until last month worked as a top aide to Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

And Brown will no longer work as a contributor to Fox News, which Friday announced his contract had been terminated once his intentions to form an exploratory committee were made public.

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