Fox News has terminated its contract with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., ahead of his expected move toward a Senate bid, the network announced Friday.
"Scott Brown’s contributor agreement was officially terminated today once he notified FOX News of his intention to form an exploratory committee to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire," Bill Shine, the network's executive vice president of programming, said in a statement.
Brown is scheduled to deliver a speech at 4:30 p.m. today in Nashua at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he may for the first time confirm he is moving closer to launching a Senate campaign in New Hampshire. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Brown has begun reaching out to potential campaign staff and would announce the formation of an exploratory committee as early as today. Brown's candidacy would give Republicans hope for a seat that would otherwise likely be unattainable with the party's current crop of candidates.
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen remains favored for re-election. Still, a Brown candidacy ensures she will not have an easy bid for a second term. A tweet from Shaheen's account Friday made it clear her campaign is expecting an onslaught of TV advertising with Brown in the race: "Scott Brown is gearing up to announce — help defend our record from Brown, Rove and the rest of his allies."
Republican operatives in the state believe Brown gives the party a realistic shot at Shaheen.
"He’s run successful campaigns, he’s a prodigious fundraiser, he has long ties to New Hampshire, and I think it will be a very competitive race," Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey said.
Former Rep. Jeb Bradley, R-N.H., told CQ Roll Call that Brown "could go head-to-head with Sen. Shaheen, would be able to raise the money that is necessary to beat an incumbent senator, and would really be a jolt of energy for Republicans in New Hampshire."
Of course, Brown would be the first person to represent more than one state in the Senate since the 1870s, according to a list maintained by the Senate Historical Office. Just two others have ever done it: James Shields, who represented Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri, and Waitman Thomas Willey, who represented Virginia and West Virginia.
Reacting to the news, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said in a statement Friday that "Scott Brown appears to be ready to be rejected by voters in two states, because the people of New Hampshire don't want a Senator who represents Big Oil and Wall Street."