GOP Hopes for NH Senate Pickup Dashed

New Hampshire’s Gov. Chris Sununu, easily the nation’s most-hoped-for and sought-after Republican to run for the Senate, decided on Tuesday not to run after all.

Rather than challenge Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2022, Sununu told reporters in Concord that he would seek a fourth two-year term as governor of the Granite State. 

Sununu’s announcement was followed swiftly by similar “no-goes” from former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who was unseated by Shaheen in 2016 by just over 1,000 votes, and by former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a New Hampshire resident since 2013.

Ayotte, many local observers insist, was unseated because of her public distancing from Donald Trump following release of a tape on “Access Hollywood” of the Republican nominee using crude language about women years before.

“Trump supporters won’t ever forgive her for that,” Howard Kaloogian of Weare, New Hampshire, a leader of grassroots conservatives in the state, told The Conservative Digest.

Brown, who drew 48.4% of the vote in a 2014 challenge to Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan, has since served as ambassador to New Zealand and was dean of the New England Law, Boston school. 

His wife, Gail Huff Brown, is running for the Republican nomination for Congress in the state’s 1st District (Manchester).

For now, no Republican stands out as an obvious contender against Shaheen. 

Kaloogian had another candidate in mind, one with education bona fides. “Frank Edelblut is the New Hampshire commissioner of education, and would be able to speak about education better than any other Republican in the state,” said Kaloogian. “I’d like to see him consider the U.S. Senate but I haven’t spoken with him about it. Education was front and center in Virginia, it could be decisive here too since the Democrats have controlled it for decades and ruined it nationally.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for The Conservative Digest. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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