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Consumer advocate Warren to decide Senate run soon

Warren registers her surprise at a hearing about oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Capitol Hill in Washington
Warren registers her surprise at a hearing about oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Capitol Hill in Washington

By Dave Clarke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Obama administration official Elizabeth Warren will make a decision after Labor Day on whether to run for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, a Massachusett Democrat assisting her said on Thursday.

Warren will take the next few weeks to meet with party leaders and grass roots activist across the state, the official said.

On Thursday, Warren, a Harvard law professor, posted a statement on the blog Blue Mass Group titled "Coming Home" reaching out to state Democrats saying she is "looking forward to discussing with you what we can accomplish together."

Up until a few weeks ago Warren had been setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the Obama administration.

Warren conceived the idea for the bureau, which was created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law.

Warren has earned a high profile from her time in Washington and is a hero to many liberals for her outspoken criticism of Wall Street in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Many Democrats had pushed President Obama to nominate her to be the agency's first director. He instead chose former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray for the job, disappointing liberals.

Democrats have since been urging Warren to remain on the national stage and run against Brown in the 2012 Senate race.

"In the weeks ahead, I want to hear from you about the challenges we face and how we get our economy growing again," Warren said in her blog post. "I also want to hear your ideas about how we can fix what all of us -- regardless of party -- know is a badly broken political system."

Kyle Sulilvan, a former spokesman for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and Doug Rubin, who ran two of Patrick's campaigns, are working with Warren as she mulls a run.

Brown burst onto the national political scene in 2010 when he won the race to replace Senator Edward Kennedy who died of a brain tumor in August 2009.

Since then, Brown has leveraged his high national profile into a large campaign warchest.

Warren's popularity with liberals would likely help Warren raise the funding needed to take on Brown.

(Reporting by Dave Clarke, Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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