SPOTLIGHT

A Major Moment in Senate Majority Fight

Gov. Chris Sununu will run for reelection in New Hampshire, rather than take on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu running for re-election speaks at the NHGOP Rally For The Midterms event in Bedford, N.H., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
AP Photo/Cheryl Senter
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Kyle Trygstad
May 15, 2019, 10:47 a.m.

On the same day that Gov. Steve Bullock’s presidential announcement led to Democratic grumbling about his decision not to run for the Senate in Montana, Republicans received a major recruitment snub of their own.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced Tuesday he’ll run for a third two-year term rather than challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, in what is a significant moment in the fight for the Senate majority.

It wasn’t necessarily unexpected at this point—he’s never stated a desire to serve in the Senate—but earlier this year he seemed to leave the door open to the possibility.

“We all know that I would defeat Jeanne Shaheen, but others can too,” Sununu told supporters in an email revealing his decision. The reality is that while we don’t all know he would have unseated the second-term incumbent, it’s not clear anyone else can come close.

While it's a boon to the party’s hopes of holding the governorship, Republicans now have just one top pickup opportunity in Alabama. The chance for another in New Hampshire would have provided at least the potential for some cushion should Democrats make a run through Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina.

-- Kyle Trygstad

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