Technically, Scott Brown’s been a candidate in this race since last month, when he filed with the FEC. But Thursday night in a Portsmouth hotel ballroom, the Republican – who now lives in Rye – erased any remaining doubt.
“I am running to be a true independent voice for the people of NH and I will need you strength you help and you voters to succeed.”
Brown’s remarks stressed his connection new home state, where he’s summered as an adult and spent the earliest days of his childhood.
“When my mom was young, she was a waitress at Hampton Beach and my dad was an airman at Pease Air Force Base. They met and fell in love and about a year later they had me, and I’ll tell you when they carried me home is wasn’t too far from here, it was a house right over on Islington Street.
Brown’s also spelled out what are likely to be his campaign’s central themes: Opposition to so-called Obamacare, which helped power his win in the 2010 special election in Massachusetts, and Jeanne Shaheen’s deep fealty to the agenda of President Obama.
“Now let me ask you this question, is a rubber stamp what the people of NH want from there senator, want and expect form their Senator?
“I didn’t think so”
Brown’s 20 speech was well received by the 200 or in attendance. Some had made the trip up from Massachusetts, but plenty were from N.H. Before Brown spoke, former N.H. Governor John Sununu took a turn at the mic. His message was blunt: republicans have to be pragmatic.
“51 republican senators, that’s what it’s all about in 2014.”
Many in the attendance seemed to agree. Electable, they called Scott Brown. State Senator Russ Prescott of Kingston said he may not agree with the former Massachusetts Senator on everything, but,
“I really appreciated what he did when he went to the senate, and as a person that may be considered conservative, maybe considered real conservative I want him to win. He started a good thing, and I want him to finish it.”
There also those who turned up outside the event who want to finish Brown’s political career. There were members of the Oath Keepers, a constitutionalist group, who said Brown is just another politician not to trusted on guns. There was a staffer for Jim Rubens, the first republican to get into the race. There was also Jesse Edwards.
“I think he’s a carpetbagger but so what.”
Edwards, who retired after 30 years in the army, was carrying a sign for the GOP candidate who’s spent time in DC, former US Senator Bob Smith.
“I just think at this point we need people who will stop lying to us, and lying I know is an ugly word, I could use the word political fraud.”
Across the street was state’s top Democratic Party official, Ray Buckley. He stood among a thicket signs mocking Brown’s candidacy. Buckley’s mere presence is proof democrats see Brown as a threat. Even so Buckley insisted most N.H. voters will quickly dismiss Brown as an opportunist.
“You really can’t move here and just weeks later run for the United States Senate and be taken seriously. It’s just not something the voters of N.H. are going to put up with.”
Scott Brown will be putting that theory to the test at least through the September primary. He begins this morning with a campaign stop in Manchester.