Former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown is set to move one step closer toward a bid for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, where he would challenge the state’s former governor and first-term Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Brown is expected to announce an exploratory committee for his expected campaign on Friday, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. The former senator is scheduled to address the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H., where big-name Republicans are meeting to discuss 2016.
Brown fell short in the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, but that moneyed, close race may have paved the way for a New Hampshire run: the two states share a media market, so his new state saw the same bombardment of political ads from the 2012 race.
Brown has been hinting at a bid for public office in the Granite State for more than a year. He recently moved to his vacation home in Rye, N.H. and registered to vote there.
Brown is also aggressively working to ease his entry into the New Hampshire Republican Party, doling out nearly $30,000 in donations to more than a dozen GOP committees and PACs in the state, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader, on top of $15,000 last year and earlier this year.
Liberal groups, including the Senate Majority PAC, have already started running ads against a Brown candidacy, criticizing him for “shopping for a Senate seat in New Hampshire.”
But Brown has fired back that attack ads merely excite him about another run for office.
“They keep running these negative ads and crushing my integrity and distorting my votes and the like—almost antagonizing me, challenging me to get in,” Brown told Politico earlier this month. “Had they left me alone, I may feel a bit different. But they didn’t.”
He added that he’d “probably” make the decision on whether to run by the June filing date.