New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu officially declined to run for Senate Tuesday morning, opting instead to run for reelection in 2022.
Sununu’s decision is a blow to national Republicans who publicly pressured him to run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and increase the GOP’s chances of retaking the equally divided chamber. Sununu was reelected in 2020 with 65% of the vote, outrunning former President Donald Trump by 20 points and cruising to a third two-year term.
“My responsibility is not to the gridlock and politics of Washington, it is to the citizens of New Hampshire,” he said during a press conference. “I’d rather push myself 120 miles an hour delivering wins for New Hampshire than just slow down and end up on Capitol Hill debating partisan politics without results. That’s why I’m going to run for a fourth term.”
While Sununu leads a state that Trump twice lost, he was more accepting of the former president than fellow blue state governors like Charlie Baker of Massachusetts or Larry Hogan of Maryland.
“I’m a Trump guy, through and through,” Sununu once declared as Democrats’ efforts to oust him began to take shape.
Several polls showed a close race had Sununu announced a Senate bid, with some giving him an outright edge. One poll from September found him up nine points against Hassan, leading 49-40 against the first-term senator and former governor.
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