ABC News’ Arlette Saenz, Michael Falcone and Elizabeth Hartfield report:
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown told reporters Thursday night that he is not ruling out a run for Senate in the neighboring state of New Hampshire in 2014.
Asked whether he is considering a challenge to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Brown said he is still “recharging the batteries” but noted, ”I’m not going to rule out anything right now,” according to an audio recording of the former senator’s remarks to reporters obtained by ABC News.
The Associated Press was the first to report Brown’s comments.
Brown was speaking at a dinner commemorating the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in Nashua, N.H. Thursday evening. Afterward, he described the Granite State as “a second home” to him, a notion he’s been pushing more often recently.
And it just so happens to be true.
In a 2011 interview with the Portsmouth, N.H. Herald, Brown described his background in the state.
“I was born at the Navy base in Kittery, my grandparents lived in Newington and they’re buried in Portsmouth,” Brown said in the interview. “I was going to Hoyt’s Cabins in Rye with my grandmother from when I was 6 years old.”
He and his wife still own a summer home in Rye, New Hampshire where he once said he planned to retire.
“I have a house here,” Brown said on Thursday. “I’ve been a taxpayer for 20 years.”
Brown’s sister also lives in the Seacoast area of the Granite State — a place where Brown returned earlier this month, according to a March 2 tweet:
@ScottBrownMA: At Newick’s Seafood Rest. in Dover NH. Great food. Have been coming here since my grandparents used to bring me. Looks the same.
Brown noted Thursday night that he planned to return to New Hampshire several more times in the next few weeks, including to be the keynote speaker at the Grafton County Republican Committee’s Lincoln-Reagan Luncheon on April 20.
A New Hampshire run would be feasible for him. The state’s eligibility requirements to run for Senate are loose, and the Granite State tends to be a friendlier territory for Republicans than Massachusetts, offering greater political appeal for the former senator.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was evidently nonplussed by Brown’s comments on Thursday.
“Is it possible to quote someone laughing?” asked the committee’s national spokesman Justin Barasky.
And New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein said of Brown, “His record of standing up for Wall Street instead of Main Street didn’t work six months ago in Massachusetts and it won’t work in New Hampshire any time soon.”
In February, Brown ruled out a run in the special election to fill John Kerry’s vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts. Brown lost his Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren in November, and he now serves as a contributor to FOX News.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl adds this historical note:
While it is highly unusual for somebody to represent two different states in Congress, it is not without precedent. In fact one of the most celebrated members of Congress ever — Daniel Webster — was elected from both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Several senators have represented two states and one — the legendary James Shields — holds a record that will stand forever: Representing three different states in the Senate (Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri).