Scott Brown (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Former senator Scott Brown will not run for the seat of departing Sen. John Kerry in Massachusetts, the Associated Press reports.
The decision by Brown, a moderate Republican, means Democrats now have a better chance of keeping the Massachusetts seat. AP cited a "person familiar" with Brown's decision.
Brown was defeated in November by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, in the nation's most expensive Senate race. Democrats had made Brown a top target since he was the surprise winner of a 2010 race to replace Democrat Edward Kennedy, who died the previous summer.
Kerry will step down Friday afternoon and take his oath as secretary of State, replacing Hillary Rodham Clinton as the nation's top diplomat.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has already appointed William "Mo" Cowan, a lawyer and his former chief of staff, to be the interim senator until a June 25 special election is held for the remainder of Kerry's term. Primaries will be held April 30.
Democratic Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch have already declared their Senate candidacies.
Brown was a little-known state senator when he ran for the U.S. Senate after Kennedy's death. He defeated Democrat Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general, who ran what many people believed was a lackluster campaign in 2010.
In his farewell remarks to the Senate in December, Brown hinted that another political race might be in his future. "As I've said many times before, victory and defeat is temporary," he said then, adding that he wanted to continue working with his Senate staff and the friends that he had made in the Senate.
Brown's name has come up as a possible candidate for Massachusetts governor next year. Patrick has said he will not run for a third term.
While Massachusetts consistently votes Democratic in presidential elections, it doesn't always do the same in governor's races. Three Republicans -- William Weld, Paul Cellucci and Mitt Romney -- were elected governors from 1990 to 2006.