Former Sen. Scott Brown hosts 2024 GOP presidential contenders in NH as he mulls another Senate run in 2026
Former senator and ambassador Scott Brown is bringing back his “No BS backyard BBQs.”
The former GOP senator from Massachusetts-turned-New Hampshire resident hosted 16 of the 18 Republican presidential candidates at informal gatherings at his home in Rye during the wide open and combustible 2016 GOP presidential nomination race.
And Brown’s bringing back the No BS backyard BBQs in the 2024 cycle, as the race for the GOP presidential nomination heats up across the country and especially in the early voting states, including New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and second overall contest following Iowa in the Republican schedule.
Up first on Wednesday evening is former ambassador to the United Nations and former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
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“People have been asking and we’re starting out with Nikki Haley this Wednesday,” Brown told Fox News. “We already have 250 people signed up” to attend.
And Brown says he has commitments from former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s expected to declare his candidacy in the coming weeks, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s expected to launch a campaign in the coming days, and multi-millionaire entrepreneur, best-selling author and conservative commentator Vivek Ramasway, who jumped into the race in February a couple of weeks after Haley.
At the informal gatherings, both the food and the candidates are grilled. But Brown says the Republican, independent, and even some Democratic voters who attend his events ask their questions to the candidates “respectfully.”
“It’s the New Hampshire way,” Brown emphasized, as he pointed to New Hampshire’s well-known tradition of retail politics and direct candidate-to-voter interactions.
After hosting nearly all the Republican presidential candidates in the 2016 cycle, Brown later endorsed Donald Trump in the weeks ahead of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. After Trump was elected president, he nominated Brown as U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, where the former senator served for four years.
Asked if he’ll make another candidate endorsement in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, Brown told Fox News “we made a pledge that we’d see everybody through.. we’re going to go through the cycle… once that’s over, I’d like to endorse again.”
When it comes to his own political future, there’s always speculation that Brown may run again for the Senate. After moving from Massachusetts to neighboring New Hampshire, Brown narrowly lost his challenge to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014.
Last year, he supported his wife Gail Huff Brown’s unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.
But with Shaheen, a former governor turned three-term senator, up for re-election in 2026, would Brown consider another Senate run?
“Of course,” he told Fox News. “You see what’s happening in the country and the dysfunction in Washington.”
He touted that during his nearly three-year tenure in the Senate that he was one of “the most bipartisan problem solving” lawmakers in the chamber.
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“Of course, I think about it. Will it materialize, I don’t know. I’m doing a lot of things now: coaching Amesbury (Massachusetts) Girl’s varsity basketball, I have a rock band, I’m going to be a grandfather for the third time soon. A lot of positive things happening. Good karma,” he said.
And Brown emphasized that “politics is a blood sport and if you’re going to make that commitment, you have to be ready. But I’m going to stay active (in politics) I’m going to help good people from around the country and try to bring some sanity back to the equation for sure.”