WASHINGTON, D.C.—Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown returned to Congress this week a lame duck after losing to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. But he could have another chance to keep a place in the Senate if Sen. John Kerry leaves to serve in the Obama administration.
Kerry reportedly is being considered to become President Barack Obama's secretary of defense, and while Brown has declined to announce plans to seek Kerry's seat if it opens, he's not publicly opposing the notion.
"We'll see what happens," Brown told reporters during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. "I'm not even thinking about it right now."
Brown was elected in 2010 in a special election after the death of former Sen. Edward Kennedy, who had represented Massachusetts since 1962. Since then, Brown has branded himself as a centrist Republican willing to cross party lines.
On Tuesday, Brown called on Republicans to move closer to the center as a way to broaden the party's appeal.
"We need to be a larger tent party. I'm a pro-choice moderate Republican. There's a vanishing breed here, you know that now," Brown said. "That group in the middle, it's vanishing. And on both sides there are extremes as you all know, kind of pushing against the middle. And I've always felt that group in the middle is quite frankly the most powerful group. I'm hopeful that we'll be a more tolerant, open-minded party."
If Kerry does leave the Senate, Massachusetts will be legally required to hold a special election within 160 days of the seat's vacancy.
Brown also declined to speculate on whether he would run for governor in 2014.
"There is not an opening right now for governor, nor is there an opening for senator," he said. "But there is an opening for a dad and a husband, and that's the role that I want to play."