Brown’s Bid Falls Short

Senator Scott Brown jokes with supporters as he makes his concession speech. (Photo by Christopher Weigl/BU News Service)

By Jim Morrison
Boston University News Service

BOSTON – Less than two years after celebrating his unexpected victory in a special election to the US Senate, Scott Brown’s election night party ended in a very different way.

Nearly half an hour after news organizations gave the election to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, Brown took the stage with his wife and daughters in front of a cheering crowd.

“We ran a fantastic campaign,” Brown said. “We stood strong in the fight and we stand strong now even in disappointment.”

“I accept the decision of the voters and have already offered my sincere congratulations to Senator-elect Warren.”

Brown was a national sensation in January 2010 when he won a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. At the time his election was seen as a reaction to President Barack Obama’s health care legislation and a precursor to the national Tea Party movement.

As in 2010, he ran a campaign stressing his independence and bipartisanship, presenting himself as a regular citizen in a barn coat who drove a pickup truck around the state. But this year, with an estimated 1 million more voters casting ballots, Brown was bested by a 53 to 46 percent.

“Know what the most difficult part is? I now have to break the news to my truck that I’ll be taking it home,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

The party in the Park Plaza’s Imperial Ballroom was festive in the early part of the evening as comedian Lenny Clarke, who campaigned with Brown, introduced U.S. Senator Susan Collins R-Maine and popular local restaurant critic Dave Andelman of The Phantom Gourmet.

Businessman and former republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker took the stage and described how hard it is to run against a well financed opponent, calling Elizabeth Warren a “handpicked Washington insider.”

Needham resident Steve Scheufele, whose wife volunteered for the Brown campaign, said he was hopeful. “I’d like to see him win. He’s a good, solid guy, a man of integrity who isn’t tied to a party.”

Boston-area oldies band The Reminisants dedicated a cover of Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed Girl to Ayla Brown, the evening’s headliner.

Her performance was occasionally punctuated by cheers or jeers depending on which early return results were being broadcast on the flat screen TV’s around the bar.

With two songs left to go in her set, Ayla Brown thanked the crowd for supporting her father. “He’ll be so happy to see your faces when he announces his victory.”

She finished her set with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” a nod to her father’s legislative independence.

Brown told the crowd he was proud of his work in Washington and the two hard-fought campaigns in Massachusetts.

“We ran two statewide campaigns in three years,” he said. “We dared to battle and were unafraid of defeat.”

When Brown said “Defeat is only temporary,” the crowd broke into applause and chanted: “Go Scott Go!”

“Whatever the future holds, I’m a fortunate man to be where I’ve been,” Brown said. “I’m going to go back to the Senate to do the people’s work until January.”

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