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Scott Brown won't run in special election to fill Kerry's Senate seat


Alex Brandon / AP

In this file photo, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., speaks during a media availability, on Capitol Hill. Brown, who was defeated in his re-election bid, said Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 that he will not run for the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, who was named secretary of state.

Updated 1:51 p.m. - Former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown, won't look to reclaim a spot in the Senate in this summer's special election to replace outgoing Sen. John Kerry.

Brown decided against running in the special election, a Republican official told NBC News on Friday. The decision strengthens Democrats' chances of holding the seat in the special election in the June 25 special election.

"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," Brown said in a statement. "That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election."

The special election would have been Brown's third since his initial January 2010 election to the Senate, when he bested Democratic favorite Martha Coakley in an election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown's election came at the height of the fight over health care reform in Congress, and his victory was seen as the advent of the political influence of the Tea Party movement.

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Brown styled himself as a relative moderate during his time in the Senate, breaking with Republicans to approving an overhaul of financial regulations and repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," among other issues. A former state senator, Brown was seen as the relative favorite to win re-election during a full term in this fall's general election until Democrats managed to convince Elizabeth Warren to enter the race. Warren beat Brown, 54 to 46 percent, in November.

Brown was seen as having an advantage had he decided to attempt to reclaim a Senate seat. A number of Democrats have endorsed Rep. Edward Markey for the Senate nomination, though Rep. Stephen Lynch will challenge Markey in the primary. Republicans maintain the discord in the Democratic primary could improve their chances of winning the election.