Just nine months after beating former Rep. Frank Guinta (R) in their fourth consecutive rematch, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) announced Friday she would retire, opening up the swingiest seat in the country. In a statement, she cited a desire to spend more time with family. Former New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie (D) and Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D) have both said they will explore bids for the seat, which backed President Trump by 2 points.
“MacKenzie said he will meet with friends and longtime associates in the next week to 10 days. If he runs, MacKenzie would likely receive strong organized labor support.” (release/WMUR)
“Pappas has long been viewed as the likely top contender. … He considered running in the 2016 election, but decided well in advance to support Shea-Porter, rather than challenge her. But with Shea-Porter now deciding to step aside, Pappas is already widely viewed as the early Democratic front-runner for the seat if there is a party primary next year.” (WMUR)
Sources also said Iraq War veteran Maura Sullivan is strongly considering a run, but as “recently as May, prior to relocating to New Hampshire, Sullivan was” floated as a contender to challenge Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL 06). First-term state Rep. Mindi Messmer (D) “said Monday she is ‘mulling it over,’ while six-term” state Rep. Robert Cushing (D) “said he will ‘think about it.’” (WMUR)
Also being mentioned as possible Democratic candidates are former New Hampshire House Speaker Terie Norelli, state Sen. Donna Soucy and former Portsmouth City Councilor Stefany Shaheen,” state Sen. David Watters and state Rep. Marjorie Smith. (WMUR)
“The announcement surprised even her congressional staff members, who did not learn of Shea-Porter’s decision until she told them Friday morning, just a few hours before her announcement was issued. Her decision was said to be still up in the air as recently as 10 days ago.” (WMUR)
State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former South Hampton Police Chief Eddie Edwards (R) are already running in the district, which the NRCC called “a pick-up opportunity even before” the announcement. Meanwhile, the DCCC vowed to compete “against whomever Steve Bannon nominates.” (releases)