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Sen. Scott Brown sees anti-establishment spirit still alive

By Associated Press

BOSTON – Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown tried today to stoke the anti-establishment spirit that propelled him to an upset U.S. Senate victory in January.

Wearing his trademark barn coat, Brown returned to blue-collar South Boston to stump for state treasurer candidate Karyn Polito. “Southie” proved to be a bellwether in his campaign against Democrat Martha Coakley to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in a historically Democratic state.

Brown also has been traveling coast to coast, campaigning for Republicans from Carly Fiorina in California to Marco Rubio in Florida before Tuesday’s midterm elections. The GOP is hoping to not only recapture control of the House, but possibly the Senate and take over several governor’s offices.

“There was a tremendous amount of energy in my race, and I’m noticing that in races where I’m campaigning across the country,” Brown said during an interview. “People are still angry, still hurting, and this remains one of the worst business climates in decades.”

Many Massachusetts businesses that are hiring are only doing so to replace critical personnel, he said. Others that aren’t expanding are actively comparing business costs in other states.

Brown’s victory in January gave Republicans a pivotal 40th vote to sustain filibusters and help shape President Barack Obama’s agenda ever since. He says he now hopes to no longer be such a decisive vote — which would happen if Republicans expand their Senate margin next week.

“People are finding they can get involved and make a difference, not only in their cities and towns, but all the way to the U.S. senator’s position,” he said.

Brown, a triathlete, wolfed down Eggs Benedict at Mul’s Diner after shaking hands with residents in one of the city’s most conservative neighborhoods.

“I’m one of those union members who votes Republican,” Dan Anton of Weymouth, a 50-year-old worker for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, told the senator as he left the diner.

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