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Scott Brown formally announced he's entering the race for the Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. During a brief rally at the Portsmouth Harborside Hotel Thursday evening, Brown told supporters how he wants to help start a big change by returning to the U.S. Senate while representing New Hampshire. (John Quinn/Union Leader Correspondent)

Scott Brown formally launches N.H. campaign for Senate

PORTSMOUTH — Scott Brown officially threw his hat into the ring on Thursday, seeking to challenge U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in the fall.

Brown, who made the announcement to a crowd of supporters at the Portsmouth Harborside Hotel Thursday evening, said he plans to fight against big government, over regulation and the complicated laws coming from the establishment in Washington, D.C.

"Let it begin right here in New Hampshire," Brown said.

Former Gov. John H. Sununu said the voters of New Hampshire "have a tremendous responsibility" as one of the battleground states for control of the U.S. Senate.

"We live in interesting times and these are crucial times," Sununu said.

Sununu said Republicans need to win six seats to receive a 51 percent majority and "begin to recover what has been lost over this almost six years."

In 2010, Brown was elected to fill the vacancy left by the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., but was defeated by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. in 2012.

Brown, who recently moved to a Rye home he had owned for some time, joins fellow Republicans who have expressed interest in challenging Shaheen this year.

"She's a very nice person, but she's wrong for the people of New Hampshire," Brown said.

He said Shaheen votes with President Barack Obama almost all of the time and was one of the supporters of the Affordable Care Act.

Brown, who has been campaigning across the state, said he's listened to many people who are nervous or upset about the increased costs in health care.

"The people of New Hampshire have plenty of regrets with this bill," Brown said, adding he intends to return to Washington to repeal Obamacare.

If elected, Brown said he also will vote against any bill with "a big government mindset," fulfill the country's obligation to veterans and support a strong America which is respected by both friend and foes.

"Help us take back our country," Brown said.

After Brown made his announcement, Shaheen's campaign manager Mike Vlacich, released the following statement:

"If Scott Brown gets through the Republican primary, this election will be a choice between someone who cares only about himself and the big corporate interests that fund his campaign and someone who works every day to make a difference for New Hampshire families. New Hampshire voters know Jeanne Shaheen shares their values,"

The filing period for all candidates is June 4-13, the Republican primary is set for Sept. 9 and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.

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