Scott Brown

Candidate Profile |

Scott Brown is hoping to win his first full six-year term to the U.S. Senate, no easy task for a Republican in a state more used to electing Democrats.

Brown, who won a special election in 2010 to fill the seat left vacant by the death of long-term Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, is facing a tough challenge from Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard University law professor who made a name for herself as a consumer advocate.

Brown, who remains popular in Massachusetts, is trying to maintain that likeability while also portraying Warren as out of touch with ordinary voters.

He has cast Warren as a classic tax-and-spend liberal and philosophical godmother of the Occupy movement even as he's portrayed himself as someone who can reach across the party divide in Washington.

He's even included images of President Barack Obama on his campaign website and in his television ads.

Warren has responded by portraying Brown as beholden to Wall Street and said his re-election would help Republicans recapture the Senate and push a more radical conservative agenda.

The race is already the most expensive in Massachusetts history.

In his campaign ads, Brown has largely relied on personal stories to drive home his everyman persona. Some of those ads have pictured Brown speaking directly to the camera from the front seat of his pickup truck _ hearkening back to the truck-driving image that helped him win the 2010 contest.

In one recent ad, Brown is shown visiting with fishermen and talking about how the industry is struggling with "overregulation, unfair enforcement and crushing fines."

Other ads feature personal testimonials and endorsements from Democrats including former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.

Brown has also pointed to what he said are some of his top achievements including his successful effort to push a bill to bar members of Congress from making money on the stock market using inside information they learned on the job.

Politically, Brown has tried to downplay his ties to the GOP as he works to win over Democratic and independent voters. He attended one day of the 2012 Republican National Convention, but declined a speaking role.

Brown's campaign hasn't been without gaffes, including comments Brown made during a radio interview when he said he held secret meetings with "kings and queens" during his time in the U.S. Senate. An aide later said Brown misspoke.

Brown was launched into the national spotlight during the closing weeks of the 2010 special election.

After the Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, stumbled, Brown's candidacy caught fire when he vowed to be the 41st senator needed to block the 2010 health care reform bill, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010.

Money poured into his campaign coffers from across the country and Brown defeated Coakley _ despite a last minute trip by Obama to Massachusetts to support Coakley.

Since his election, Brown has sided mostly with Republicans, but has also broken ranks.

In May 2010, Brown decided to back a financial regulation bill one day after voting against it, giving Democrats the 60-40 majority needed to cut off debate.

Brown _ whose committee assignments in the Senate include Armed Services, Veterans' Affairs, Small Business, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs _ said he made the decision after receiving promises from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on issues related to Massachusetts.

His decisions to break with the GOP have angered some tea party activists who felt Brown had abandoned their fiscal conservative message. Brown received tea party support in the 2010 election.

Brown revealed in a 2011 memoir, "Against All Odds," that he'd been molested at a Christian summer camp on Cape Cod in the 1970s.

Committee Assignments: Armed Services; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Veterans' Affairs; Small Business

American Conservative Union Rating: 50

Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 40

Source: Associated Press

Race Snapshot: Massachusetts Senate

Candidates:

Scott Brown (R)

Elizabeth Warren (D)


Race Rating: Lean Democratic

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PROJECT: Wilson Andrews, Jason Bartz, Ryan Kellett, Katie Parker, Leslie Passante and Serdar Tumgoren - The Washington Post. Published Oct. 8, 2012.

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