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Scott Brown is a lawyer and politician who served as Massachusetts senator on the Republican ticket.
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However, the incident wasn't enough to derail Brown's political rise to prominence. While in the state senate, he voted against the repeal of the state law that barred out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts and later, voted for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and opposed the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. During his career in the state legislature, he generally supported more conservative causes. However, prior to adopting a pro-life stance,
he publicly affirmed his support for Roe v. Wade.
During his tenure in the Senate, Brown made his mark as an advocate for veterans' affairs. As a member of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, he authored a 2007 law that put a check-box on state income tax forms to recognize soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The motion helped inform veterans of services and benefits available in the state.
In September 2009, Scott Brown announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat that had become vacant upon the death of Ted Kennedy, proclaiming that he would fulfill Massachusetts' need for an "independent thinker." The press described him as a candidate who didn't fall neatly into party lines and characterized him as "mainstream." In the general election, Brown faced Democratic nominee Attorney General Martha Coakley and independent Joseph L. Kennedy (no relation to the Kennedy family). Initially, Brown faced overwhelming odds, being a relative unknown and a Republican in a very Democratic state. But while Democrats far outnumber Republicans in Massachusetts, independents outnumber both parties combined. Brown capitalized on his reputation as a moderate, and gained an increasing amount of support at election time.
Brown won the election on January 19, 2010, by a 52-to-47 percent margin. He had performed well in Republican strongholds, and kept rival Coakley's margins down in many Democratic precincts. He was able to garner support from independent voters who had backed Democrats in the past, and were frustrated with various national issues, including high unemployment, Wall Street bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health-care reform.
More notably, Brown's election win marked the end of a more than 50-year Democratic stronghold on Massachusetts and stripped Democrats of the 60-seat supermajority it held in the Senate, which Democratic senators needed to overcome Republican filibusters. Following his election to the Senate, Brown maintained a low profile whenever possible. One of Brown's first congressional initiatives was voting for the Democrat-sponsored "jobs bill"; he was one of only five Republicans to support the motion, which was ultimately passed through the Senate.
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