Scott Brown Is Serious About Running in New Hampshire

The former Massachusetts Senator will form an exploratory committee for the New Hampshire Senate race.

With news that he will announce an exploratory committee that allows him to hire staff and raise money, it looks at last like Scott Brown’s long hinted-at bid for Jeanne Shaheen’s seat will become a reality.

The Associated Press first reported that Brown was looking to hire campaign staff and making calls to New Hampshire’s Republican leaders earlier this week. Now, other news outlets have followed up to say that Brown is telling people he will announce his exploratory committee, perhaps at a state Republican event in Nashua, where he’s scheduled to speak today. His schmoozing of New Hampshire Republicans is there for all to see on his Twitter feed:

You might have considered this campaign a foregone conclusion after months of Brown’s hint-dropping. But his previous lack of staffing activity and schmoozing with New Hampshire’s elite had previously been taken as signs that he might not be serious about running, but rather, teasing a potential run to keep his relevance. His final decisions against running either for governor or John Kerry’s Senate seat in Massachusetts also offered a track record suggesting he might walk away from the race. Not so, apparently!

A brief rumor that he might no longer be a Fox News contributor turned out to be false, but revealed that if he does launch an exploratory committee, he may have to walk away from his contract on the network. His Twitter shows that he’s still, for now, a happy member of the Fox family.

Brown will face a primary challenge in New Hampshire. Though polls show him doing best against the Democrat Shaheen in November, he currently trails her. Expect to hear a lot of talk about his underdog story in this campaign. The New York Times points out, though, that even if he loses, he’ll cause the Democrats a headache they could have done without. The New York Times’s Katharine Seelye explains:

Even if he did not win, he would force the Democrats to spend a lot more time and attention in New Hampshire than they had been prepared for. With his national name recognition and the importance of the race, Mr. Brown — who represented Massachusetts for three years — would be expected to raise a serious amount of money.

Basically, with today’s news, Shaheen’s year just got a lot more pricey.