New Hampshire Governor Considers Declining Another Term

Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire is making waves again as he hints at stepping away from the political arena. Just weeks after declining to run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Sununu now suggests that he may not seek a fifth term as governor.

In an interview on Boston radio station WEEI, Sununu shared his current mindset, saying, “I haven’t firmly made the decision that I’m not going to run.” 

However, he made it clear that he is not leaning towards another run. 

Sununu, who gained national attention for his appearances on cable news networks and Sunday talk shows, recognizes the need for fresh leadership. After winning a hard-fought election in 2016 and securing re-elections in subsequent years, he believes it is time for someone else to step into the role. 

“Could I win again? Of course. But it’s [public] service, and someone else needs to kind of take the mantle,” he stated.

According to the New Hampshire leader, one factor influencing his decision is the potential for higher earnings in the private sector. Sununu mentioned that he has financial responsibilities, such as putting his children through college, that could be better met with a higher salary outside of politics. 

This consideration is not surprising, as he previously joked about needing to find a “real job” during an address to a regional business association.

Although Sununu recently withdrew from the race for the presidency, his announcement regarding his future plans is still eagerly anticipated. Emphasizing the importance of consulting with his wife and children before reaching a conclusion, he said, “I’ve got to talk to Val and the kids. I’ll figure it out. I really don’t know.”

He indicated that he would make a decision about his political future early in the summer, possibly after Independence Day. 

Per Politico, Sununu aims to finalize his decision by the end of June, following the conclusion of the state’s legislative session. 

Whenever he chooses to announce his decision, his potential successors are not waiting idly. Democrats, who have struggled to unseat Sununu in previous elections, see his potential departure as a political opportunity. 

Cinde Warmington, the sole Democrat on New Hampshire’s Executive Council, has already announced her candidacy. Additionally, three-term Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is preparing to enter the race officially in the coming months.

In the Republican camp, former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and former state Senate President Chuck Morse (R-NH) have begun laying the groundwork for potential campaigns in the event that Sununu opts not to run again. 

Frank Edelblut, Sununu’s education commissioner who came close to defeating him in the 2016 GOP gubernatorial primary, is also reportedly contemplating a gubernatorial bid.

As Sununu weighs his options, the political landscape in New Hampshire remains fluid. The decision he ultimately makes will have significant implications for both the Republican Party  and the Granite State due to his popularity across the state known for its safety, ample job opportunities and high-quality education.

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