‘Scott Brown Republican’ Surge?

January 21, 2010

Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown said yesterdaythat there’s “a new breed of Republican coming to Washington.”

Even aside from his arrival in Washington today, he may just be right.

Republicans nation-wide are celebrating Brown’s victory in the heavily Democratic state. Many are sending out fund-raising appeals hoping to capitalize on the grass-roots enthusiasm captured by his candidacy, and surely premature buzz about a possible presidential run.

And the victory is starting to have an impact on candidate recruitment. At the National Republican Congressional Committee, the win has galvanized Chairman Pete Sessions’ attempt to get a GOP candidate on the ballot in all 435 House races, according to party officials.

“We want to have 435 Republican candidates who, like Scott Brown, have also had enough of the spending and taxing and heavy-handed governance,” Sessions, R-Texas, wrote in a column posted at RedState.org last night.

That effort is aimed at making sure Republicans are in place to take advantage of a favorable climate no matter where it presents itself — and to siphon Democratic resources in the fall, by expanding the potential playing field.

In the wake of Brown’s victory, a few high-profile candidates have already decided to jump in. In upstate New York, Republican Richard Hanna cited Brown’s win in opting for a rematch against Rep. Mike Arcuri, D-N.Y., handing the GOP its favored challenger in a recently Republican district.

In Brown’s own Massachusetts, former state treasurer Joe Malone told the Associated Press that he’s likely to challenge Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., in a district that includes the Cape Cod communities that Brown ran particularly well in.

On the Senate side, a few developments suggest that Republicans like their chances a bit more after Brown proved that almost any seat is winnable.

In Nevada, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, R-Nev., told the Las Vegas Sun that he’s seriously considering a bid against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., after lobbying by national Republican figures including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

In Wisconsin, former Gov. Tommy Thompson, R-Wis., told Politico that he’s weighing a run against Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

And today in Washington, officials with the National Republican Senatorial Committee are meeting with Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., in the hopes of talking him into challenging Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.

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