Around New England

In New Hampshire, Republican Governor Chris Sununu Might Take On Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen in 2020

March 25, 2019

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu recently called U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen “very vulnerable” while leaving the door open he might take her on in 2020 instead of running for a third two-year term as governor.

Shaheen, 72, is expected to run for a third term in the U.S. Senate. A former governor of New Hampshire (1997-2003), Shaheen lost to Chris Sununu’s older brother, John Sununu (now 54), in the 2002 U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire, and then beat him in 2008. She won re-election in 2014.

Shaheen and Chris Sununu, 44, are sparring over the possible reallocation of $200 million from Portsmouth Naval Yard in Kittery, Maine, on the border with New Hampshire.

President Donald Trump has said he plans to divert military appropriations to extend the wall on the southern border with Mexico. Some of that money would come from the Portsmouth Naval Yard, which accounts for a major portion of the New Hampshire Seacoast economy.

Shaheen and other Democrats are calling on Sununu to lobby Trump to restore the funds, according to SeacoastOnline.com. Sununu says Democrats in Congress like Shaheen are to blame, for not making a deal with Trump so he could use a regular appropriation for the wall instead of declaring a national emergency and trying to tap already-appropriated funds meant for the U.S. military.

New Hampshire in recent years has been a so-called purple state, tilting slightly Democratic but generally with competitive races for Congress.

If Sununu runs, New Hampshire would be the only U.S. Senate race in New England where Republicans would be expected to have a decent chance to pick up a seat. In Maine, Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the only Republican in Congress in New England, is expected to have a tough race for re-election for what would be a fifth term.

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