Gov. Chris Sununu announces fourth bid for governor's office

Nov 9, 2021
Originally published on November 9, 2021 12:30 pm

Gov. Chris Sununu said he will run for a fourth term as New Hampshire's governor, rather than challenge incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan.

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"I'd rather push myself 120 miles an hour delivering wins for New Hampshire than to slow down, end up on Capitol Hill, debating partisan politics without results," Sununu said at a Tuesday morning press conference.

With this announcement, Sununu defied months of urging from top national Republicans who saw him as the party's best chance to take control of the Senate from Democrats.

"There's a lot of other really good candidates out there who could win," Sununu said.

Sununu has served three terms as governor after six years on the Executive Council.

Most recently, he’s guided the state through the pandemic and touted his management of the crisis. But at times, the data show claims of New Hampshire’s leadership in COVID-19 vaccination haven’t been as reliable as he’s said.

Over his terms, he prioritized tax cuts and making New Hampshire a more attractive place for business.

Lately, he’s positioned the state as a tourist destination, explicitly highlighted in a series of videos with the #Super603 tag.

He also signed one of the most expansive school choice programs of its kind.

He often positions himself as a manager, and that’s one reason why he said he didn’t want to run for Senate.

"My responsibility is not to the gridlock and politics of Washington, it's to the citizens of New Hampshire," he said.

But the Republican governor hasn’t always had an easy time managing his own party in the State House. He recently clashed with Republicans in the Legislature over COVID mitigation policies and Republican executive councilors over federal funding for COVID vaccination.

Sununu referenced a predicted tough winter related to COVID-19 cases. He said he was eager to get back to work on state issues, especially regarding mental health and substance abuse disorders.

He’s also garnered criticism from Democrats for signing restrictive new abortion legislation (including an ultrasound requirement for anyone seeking an abortion at any time) as a part of the 2021 state budget while claiming to be pro-choice.

Of course, his family is familiar to Granite Staters, which may have informed his decision about whether to seek a role in the Senate. His father, John. H. Sununu was governor of New Hampshire and later became White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush. His brother, John E. Sununu, is a former U.S. Senator.

During the press conference, Sununu did not rule out running for president someday.

This story will be updated.

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