Scott Brown not running for Senate

Scott Brown.

Updated: 2:17 p.m. ET

Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., will not seek the senate seat being vacated by former Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., he announced this afternoon.

Brown, who was voted into the Senate in a special election in 2010 following the death of longtime Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, recently lost his re-election bid to Elizabeth Warren in a brutal, costly campaign.

In a statement this afternoon, he said that while "representing Massachusetts in the United States Senate was the greatest privilege of my life," he was not "at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time."

"I know it's not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me," he said. "That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election."

There was much speculation as to whether Brown would seek Kerry's seat in light of his recent confirmation as Hillary Clinton's successor as Secretary of State.

With Brown opting out of a run, there are few Republicans in Massachusetts with statewide recognition who could make a serious play for Kerry's seat. The Hill newspaper has reported that former state senate minority leader Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost a House bid in November, may be interested in running for the Republican nomination.

In a statement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) said it was time to "move forward" now that Brown had opted out of the race.

"This was no doubt a tough personal decision for Senator Brown and his family, who understandably need to recharge after several long, hard-fought campaigns," said Rob Collins, executive director of the NRSC. "Now that he has made a decision, it's time to move forward."

Democratic Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch have both announced candidacies and will face off in the April 30 primary. The special election itself has been set for June 25.