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Scott Brown ribs Markey, raises residency question

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown will be out of a job Thursday.
Sen. Scott Brown
Sen. Scott Brown

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown will be out of a job Thursday. The 112th Congress is scheduled to adjourn at 11:59 a.m., at the latest, to make way for new lawmakers, including freshman Senator Elizabeth Warren, who beat Brown by eight points in November.

Brown has been coy about whether he will run in the special election to replace Senator John Kerry, should Kerry be confirmed as Secretary of State. But in the latest hint Brown may be gearing up for a bid, he mocked the Democrat most likely to be his opponent, Congressman Ed Markey, in a radio appearance Wednesday morning.

Asked on the “Jim & Margery Show” on WTKK-FM whether he'll run, Brown laughed, “I’ll tell you what, they’re making it awfully tempting. You got Ed Markey. Does he still live here? .... You’ve got to check the travel records. I’ve come back and forth every weekend, almost, for three years, and I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane—ever."

As The Boston Globe recently reported, Markey tested whether voters would consider the residency issue a problem before announcing he would run. Markey, who has lived in Washington since he was elected to the House 36 years ago, claimed his parents' home as a residence for many years. An aide said last week that he bought the family home following his father's death in 2000, and continues to claim it as his Massachusetts address.

Residency was most recently an issue for Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, who stumbled by admitting to reporters he wasn't sure what address was listed on his Indiana driver's license. Lugar had sold his home in Indiana shortly after winning his first election to the Senate.

According to Massachusetts law, a special election must take place between 145 and 160 days after a member of Congress' resignation is effective. That means if Kerry is confirmed rapidly, an election could be held in June at the earliest.

Soon after Markey announced he would run last Thursday, the national Democratic establishment threw its support behind him. Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch are considered other potential Democratic candidates. Former Governor William Weld is mentioned as a possible Republican candidate if Brown doesn’t run.

In other special election news, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed an executive order Wednesday morning setting the dates for the special election to fill Congressman Tim Scott's seat. Haley named Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint, who is resigning from the Senate. She has set the 1st District primary election for March 19. Any runoff election would be held on April 2. The general election is set for May 7.

Former Governor Mark Sanford has said he is seriously considering a run for his old House seat, setting up a possible match-up with his ex-wife Jenny Sanford, who has also expressed interest in a bid. Three years ago Sanford avoided impeachment after disappearing for five days to the "Appalachian trail", then eventually admitting he was having an affair with a woman from Argentina.