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The GOP’s full-court press to recruit NH Gov Sununu to run for Senate in 2022

It was a second that symbolized the will by many Republicans for New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu to problem Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in subsequent 12 months’s midterm elections.

The three-term governor was addressing a crowd of conservative leaders and activists at a Belknap County GOP dinner and fundraiser this previous weekend when an individual within the crowd yelled out “Senate.”

Sununu, unfazed, rapidly responded, “We’ll get to that.”


With the GOP needing a internet acquire of only one seat within the 2022 midterms to regain the bulk they misplaced in final cycle’s contests, the looming Senate battle in New Hampshire might finally resolve whether or not the Democrats or the Republicans management the chamber come 2023.

Nationwide Republicans view Hassan, a first-term senator and Sununu’s predecessor as New Hampshire governor, as susceptible heading into subsequent 12 months’s midterms. And so they see Sununu, whose ballot numbers stay sky excessive amongst Republicans and really wholesome amongst independents, and who’s fastidiously navigated his relationship with former President Trump the previous six years, as their key to flipping a vital blue seat pink.

“I feel Chris is a doer, and I feel he’d be an ideal senator. I do know he’d win the race,” Sen. Rick Scott of Florida informed Fox Information in an interview.


Scott, the chair of the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee, which is the Senate reelection arm, headlined the Belknap GOP occasion, as a part of a jam-packed Saturday for the senator within the Granite State. Fellow governors for 2 years earlier than Scott’s election to the Senate in 2018, Sununu praised his buddy as he launched the senator on the occasion, and Scott returned the favor in his deal with.

“I hope he runs for the Senate, and I’m going to do my finest to get him there,” Scott informed Fox Information in a nationwide unique interview minutes after his speech. 

And he predicted, “I feel he’ll do it.”

Sununu has lengthy been a critic of politics within the nation’s capital, however Scott mentioned his message to the governor is, “You can also make a distinction… I feel you will get issues finished…you simply need to work at it every single day.”

A Hassan-Sununu face-off could be one of the crucial aggressive, essential and costly Senate showdowns in subsequent 12 months’s midterms. Hassan’s already constructing a formidable struggle chest, and Sununu has by no means needed to haul in large bucks in New Hampshire’s usually modest-dollar gubernatorial contests.

However Scott touted that if Sununu jumps into the race, the cash can be there to again him up.

“I can inform you throughout the nation, folks need Chris Sununu to run,” he emphasised.


Scott and Sununu met privately for roughly 20 minutes forward of their public look collectively at Gunstock, a ski resort within the mountains on the southside of Lake Winnipesaukee. The assembly gave the impression to be a part of a full-court press by nationwide Republicans to try to persuade Sununu to launch a Senate marketing campaign. 

That lobbying effort contains telephone calls from Senate GOP Chief Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and different outstanding Republicans. Even Trump, who seven months faraway from the White Home stays very talked-about with Republicans as he continues to play a kingmaker’s position in GOP politics and repeatedly flirts with one other presidential run in 2024, has mentioned he’d “prefer to see” Sununu problem Hassan.

However Sununu is in no rush to make any choices on whether or not to run for the Senate, search reelection to a fourth two-year time period steering New Hampshire, or not run for something in 2022 and return to the personal sector, the place he as soon as labored as an environmental engineer and managed the Waterville Valley ski resort, the place the Sununu household is the principal proprietor.

Requested about his Saturday assembly with Scott, the governor informed Fox Information, “I made it actually clear to him a very long time in the past that I wasn’t going to make any choices for fairly a very long time. So we spent about 20 minutes collectively at the moment, simply extra catching up as outdated buddies than something. He is aware of I am not making any choices. I do not know what I’ll do.”

Sununu, the son of former three-term governor John H. Sununu – who additionally served as President George H.W. Bush’s chief of employees – and youthful brother to former Sen. John E. Sununu, has been repeatedly saying in native interviews that it’s going to be some time earlier than he makes any bulletins, probably as late as winter.

“I’m not sitting at residence actually excited about this proper now,” the governor pressured. “When folks have referred to as to ask me to run, we’ve had five-minute conversations and that’s about it.”

“If in some unspecified time in the future it I feel that this is perhaps one thing I’m curious about doing, I’d actually get into the nuts and bolts of how issues actually work down there to verify it’s set to work for me, as a result of if it wouldn’t work for me, it wouldn’t work for the state. And if that’s the case, it isn’t value doing.” Sununu mentioned. “It needs to be for the appropriate causes and on the proper time, however we’re manner, manner distant from that and loads of issues are going to alter between now and at any time when that’s.”


Sununu mentioned the lobbying from contained in the Beltway “doesn’t matter. I’m not beholden to anyone in Washington, D.C. I feel everyone is aware of that. I care concerning the 603.”

New Hampshire Democrats disagree and are utilizing the lobbying effort by nationwide Republicans to focus on Sununu, their nemesis courting again to his first gubernatorial victory in 2016.

“Mitch McConnell and Rick Scott are doing all the pieces they’ll to entice Chris Sununu to run for U.S. Senate as a result of they know that Sununu could be a rubber stamp for McConnell’s excessive, poisonous agenda,” longtime state Democratic Get together chair Ray Buckley informed Fox Information in a press release. “If Chris Sununu runs for the U.S. Senate, it’ll have all the pieces to do with serving to Mitch McConnell win again energy, and it’ll don’t have anything to do with New Hampshire.”

Sununu, as he’s finished in different interviews, spotlighted that his day job takes priority over political choices. 

“There’s so much to handle proper now. That’s the place my focus is,” Sununu mentioned as he pointed to preparations forward of a probable improve in COVID-19 instances within the state this autumn, new funds implementations, new behavioral well being initiatives, and different gadgets on his to-do listing as governor.

Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan makes a stop in the northern New Hampshire city of Berlin on April 7, 2021. The former governor and first term senator is running for reelection in 2022.

Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan makes a cease within the northern New Hampshire metropolis of Berlin on April 7, 2021. The previous governor and first time period senator is working for reelection in 2022.

Hassan, who lives in the identical small Seacoast city of Newfields as Sununu, confronted related strain as governor to run for the Senate. 

In 2015, nationwide Democrats urged her to tackle then-GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Hassan introduced her bid in October of that 12 months, following the tip of an extended funds standoff between her and the then-GOP-controlled state legislature. She edged Ayotte within the 2016 election by a razor-thin margin of simply over 1,000 votes.

Hassan and her marketing campaign have spotlighted the senator’s bipartisan chops as she begins gearing up her reelection bid. 


“The most important energy that our marketing campaign has is Sen. Hassan’s report of working throughout occasion strains and delivering for the folks of New Hampshire,” Hassan marketing campaign supervisor Aaron Jacobs mentioned earlier this summer time.

And Jacobs pledged, “We’re going to be prepared irrespective of who our opponent is.”


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