December 30, 2018

A RACE THAT REQUIRES NIKKI AT THE TOP OF THE TICKET:

Potential Challengers Mull Run Against Sen. Shaheen (Paul Steinhauser , 12/29/18, Valley News)

It seems unlikely that the two most popular New Hampshire Republicans would run for the Senate in 2020.

Gov. Chris Sununu repeatedly has vowed that he has no interest in running for the U.S. Senate. The odds are much greater that the governor would run in 2020 for a third term in the corner office rather than for a full-time job in the nation's capital.

"I have absolutely no interest," Sununu told the Concord Monitor in June. "I'm a manager. I love to manage."

While she's staying mum, it's also highly doubtful former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte would run in 2020.

Ayotte, who lost to then-Gov. Maggie Hassan by just 1,017 votes out of nearly three-quarters of a million cast in 2016, has joined the boards of numerous corporate and nonprofit entities, including News Corp., BAE Systems, Bloom Energy, Caterpillar, the One Campaign and the McCain Institute. She's also a member of the executive committee of New Hampshire Veterans Count.

People close to her say it's unlikely she'd run in 2020, with Shaheen running for re-election and with President Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.

Ayotte struggled when asked at a 2016 Senate debate if she considered Trump a role model. A few weeks later, she broke with her party's presidential nominee after Trump's controversial 2005 Access Hollywood comments regarding women surfaced.

While those close to Ayotte say the odds right now are slim to none that she would run in 2020, a lot can change politically as the cycle progresses over the next year and a half.

Posted by at December 30, 2018 9:25 AM

  

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