Outgoing Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) expressed doubts about the Massachusetts residency of Senate candidate Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in a radio appearance Wednesday, sending a strong signal that he will challenge him in the special election that will occur if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is confirmed as secretary of state.
"I’ll tell you what; They’re making it awfully tempting. You got Ed Markey: Does he even live here any more?" Brown said on the "Jim & Margery Show" on WTKK-FM, a local Boston radio station, when asked if he was going to run.
"You’ve got to check the travel records. I’ve come back and forth (from Washington to Boston) every weekend, almost, for three years, and I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane - ever," he said, according to The Boston Globe.
Markey, who has represented Massachusetts in the House of Representatives since 1976 and is the most senior member in the delegation, owns a home in Chevy Chase, Md., and his wife works as a doctor for the National Institutes of Health. He also owns his childhood home, which he purchased from his parents, in Malden, Mass., north of Boston.
His 2010 congressional opponent, Dr. Gerry Dembrowski, tried to make his residency into an issue in the campaign. Markey ended up winning the safely Democratic seat by a 66-33 margin.
How the residency question would play against a significantly stronger challenger is an open question. Brown prides himself on the miles he's logged traveling across Massachusetts in his pickup truck. He won his 2010 special election as an underdog by crisscrossing the commonwealth and outcampaigning his opponent, Attorney General Martha Coakley, who infamously questioned whether she had to shake hands in the cold outside Fenway Park.
UPDATE: 4:05 p.m. -- Markey hit back against Brown Wednesday afternoon. "Scott Brown has not yet announced that he is running for Senate, but he is already launching false, personal attacks from the sidelines," said spokeswoman Giselle Barry. "Ed Markey lives in Malden, and has lived there his entire life. He and his wife own their home in Malden. He is proud to come from and represent the values of the people of Malden. This campaign should be about what matters most to the people of Massachusetts: jobs, education, health care and the environment."