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February 2, 2013

GOP scrambles for Senate candidate

BOSTON — Former Sen. Scott Brown will not run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated yesterday by Sen. John Kerry, citing the rigors of a third Senate campaign in four years and the prospect of returning to a bitterly divided Congress.

Without elaborating on his future political or professional plans, Brown also said in a statement that running for Senate was “not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me.”

Many Republican Party leaders had seen Brown as their best hope for winning the seat, and Brown’s announcement leaves the party and its new chairwoman, former Brown campaign aide Kirsten Hughes, scrambling for a candidate.

Newbury resident and celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow is among the Republicans who have considered running. Last month, Ablow told The Daily News that he may run if neither Brown nor former Gov. William Weld run. Weld has not announced his intentions. Ablow could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Brown, the son of the late Newburyport City Councilor C. Bruce Brown, was elected to the Senate in a January 2010 special election, defeating Attorney General Martha Coakley. Sen. Elizabeth Warren took office this month after defeating Brown in November’s election.

Congressmen Edward Markey of Malden and Stephen Lynch of South Boston are vying for the Democratic nomination in the special election.

Party candidates must turn in 10,000 signatures to local election officials by Feb. 27.

The primary is scheduled for April 30 with the special election to be held on June 25.

Gov. Deval Patrick this week named his former chief of staff William “Mo” Cowan to serve as interim senator during the campaign and until voters elect a senator in June.

Former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey has been cast about as a possible Senate contender and it’s possible that, as Brown did in 2009, one of the roughly two dozen Republican members of the Legislature could take a shot at the special, which would not require them to forfeit their current jobs.

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