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April 21. 2013 12:09AM

Inquiring Republicans left to wonder if Scott Brown would run for Senate in NH

Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has some Granite State Republicans urging him to run in 2014 in New Hampshire. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)

HANOVER - "Nothing's off the table," said former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., when asked if he plans to run for the U.S. Senate for New Hampshire as he was leaving the Grafton County Republican Committee Lincoln-Reagan Luncheon on Saturday.

Brown was noncommital leaving the Hanover Inn. He said he is enjoying his life working as a FOX national news contributor and traveling around New England speaking to fellow Republicans.

When Brown took to the podium, he was quickly interrupted by committee leaders who asked him to remove his tie so it could be auctioned to the highest bidder.

Brown's wife, Gail, said she would bid $200 if her husband would also donate the "shirt off his back."

Brown refused to take off his shirt, and after several more bids, committee member Karen Cervantes won the auction, paying $250 for the tie.

"So that's what you guys do up here. Sell clothes off of people, steal their belongings," he joked.

But Brown said he appreciates a good laugh.

"You have to have a sense of humor. If you don't have a sense of humor, especially in politics, you might as well get out of the business," he said.

Brown said he was glad to see the committee having a good time after such a difficult election cycle.

The GOP will make a comeback, but it needs to be a larger tent party, Brown said.

"I don't know about you, but I'm a Scott Brown Republican. What does that mean to folks here in New Hampshire and for the country. I thought it meant you could be an independent thinker and you can actually read the bills and understand them, see how they affected our state, our country, our deficit," he said.

"And regardless of political party, look at ways to solve our problems in a real thoughtful and methodical manner, and not be subjected to an ideologically pure test," Brown said. "With all due respect, we need to have a larger tent, folks."

He said to battle in the years to come, "we need to have dignity and treat everybody in our party and in this state and in our country with dignity. And find our common bond and solve our country's very real problems.

"Cause guess what, we're in trouble, we're in deep trouble, $17 trillion in national debt with no end in sight. We've Obamacare coming up with its 18 new taxes."

Brown spoke about his ties to New Hampshire; he has family here and owns a home in Rye.

Cervantes, the woman who bought Brown's tie in the auction, said after he left that she enjoyed his talk, but doesn't think he is what she is really looking for in a candidate.

"I can see him as a candidate. But it depends on who runs against him," she said. "He's a moderate Republican. I'm a conservative. Republican ... a pro-life Catholic, lows taxes, small government Republican."

If a conservative like Ovide Lamontagne was running against Brown, Cervantes said she would vote for Lamontagne.

Cervantes agreed there needs to be a bigger tent, but not too big.

"I'm not willing to change my views to pick up votes," she said.

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