Brown is a member of the Republican Party, and faced the Democratic candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, in the 2010 special election to succeed U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. While initially trailing Coakley in polling by a large margin, Brown won the election and in January 2010 became the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts since Edward Brooke in 1972.
Prior to entering the state legislature, he had experience as a town selectman and assessor. He is a practicing attorney, concentrating in real estate law and serving as defense counsel in the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Brown is a graduate of Wakefield High School (1977), Tufts University (1981), and Boston College Law School (1985).