Scott Brown won’t run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by John Kerry, several news outlets report.
“U are the first to know,” Brown texted The Boston Herald.
Kerry is stepping down to become secretary of state. Brown, a Republican, had been seen as having a good shot at returning to the Senate, after losing his seat last fall to Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Rep. Ed Markey is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. The general election will be held in June.
Late Update, 2pm: Brown has issued a statement confirming the news. Here it is in full:
Representing Massachusetts in the United States Senate was the greatest privilege of my life, an experience that takes second place only to my marriage to Gail and the birth of our daughters. It was a higher honor than I had ever expected, and in the time given to me I always tried to make the most of it.
When I was first sent to the Senate in early 2010, it wasn’t exactly welcome news for President Obama or many other Democrats. Yet among my best memories from those three years in office are visits to the White House to see the President sign into law bills that I had sponsored. I left office last month on the best of terms with colleagues both Republican and Democrat. I had worked well with so many of them, regardless of party, to serve the public interest just as we are all supposed to. All of this was in keeping with the pledge I made at the beginning to do my own thinking and to speak for the independent spirit of our great state.
Over these past few weeks I have given serious thought about the possibility of running again, as events have created another vacancy requiring another special election. I have received a lot of encouragement from friends and supporters to become a candidate, and my competitive instincts were leading in the same direction.
Even so, I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time. And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me.
That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election.