Senate Republicans are actively courting New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu to challenge Sen. Maggie Hassan in next year’s midterms.
Hassan (D-NH) was governor of the state until 2016, when she opted to challenge then-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) instead of run for a third term.
She won, and Sununu, a Republican, went on to beat Democrat Colin Van Ostern by more than two points in the gubernatorial race.
New Hampshire, which votes for governor every two years, keeps electing Sununu with larger margins each time, most recently carrying an astonishing 65 percent against his Democratic opponent in 2020.
Now, Senate Republicans think he’s the one to oust her in 2022 as they try to retake the majority.
“He’d be a great candidate. We’re hoping he’d make the race,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Politico of Sununu, currently in his third term in Concord.
“If he runs, we’ll win,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who runs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP campaign arm, told the outlet.
Hassan would easily be Sununu’s toughest political fight to date.
While he raised $1.7 million in 2020, she raised $2.9 million just in the first three months of this year.
She already sits on a $4.4 million war chest for her next campaign fight.
Sununu did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment, though he told Politico that he’s debating a Senate run, a fourth term as governor or abandoning politics altogether for the private sector.
He won’t make a final decision however, until the legislature ends it’s session next month.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said that Republicans would give Sununu the space to make a decision for himself.
“Our folks are encouraged at least that he’s thinking seriously about it. We’re appreciative of the fact at least that he’s entertaining the outreach that’s been made to him.”
Reached for comment by the outlet, Hassan said, “I’m just working on making sure we implement the American Rescue Plan and making sure we meet the priorities and needs of the people in New Hampshire.”
The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, though Vice President Kamala Harris, as Senate president, has a tie-breaking vote. Still, 51 votes are not enough under current rules to break through the filibuster.
The razor-thin margin makes retaking the majority within Republicans’ reach in both the House and Senate.
For his part, McConnell has said his primary focus is retaking the Senate, telling the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, “I personally don’t care what kind of Republican they are, what kind of lane they consider themselves in. What I care about is electability.”