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Setti Warren weighing 2012 challenge to Sen. Brown

Associated Press | 3/16/2011, 5:02 a.m.

“We’re going to have enough money to fight back against all the special interest money that is going to come in from all over the country,” Brown said.

Massachusetts Democrats say that they hope to use the lessons they learned from Brown’s successful campaign for the Senate seat formerly held by the late Democrat Edward Kennedy when they run against the Republican incumbent next year.

State party chairman John Walsh has said the party plans to use Brown’s voting record against him. Walsh said that record appears calculated to make Brown look conservative without going too far to alienate more moderate Massachusetts voters.

Democrats point to Brown’s record on last year’s repeal of the federal ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Brown initially said he would support a repeal. When the repeal vote came up, however, Brown voted against it, saying that he wanted the Senate to vote on a tax package first. After the tax package was approved, Brown voted in favor of the repeal.

Brown has defended his record, saying he has remained true to his pledge to be an independent senator beholden to no one.

Walsh also hopes to out-organize Brown. The party’s organizing prowess was credited in part for helping Patrick win his re-election battle last year.

Brown’s re-election comes during a presidential contest. Democrats are hoping that President Barack Obama’s name on the ballot could rev up enthusiasm among Democratic voters, which could backfire on Brown.

But a potential rival to Obama is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who could draw out Republicans and Brown-backing independents if he is the eventually GOP presidential nominee.

Associated Press