Republicans consider challengers to Shaheen

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August 12, 2013

New Hampshire

By Phil Sletten

CONCORD, New Hampshire: Republicans in the state are surveying potential challengers to incumbent U.S Senator and former Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D), who is expected to run for re-election in 2014. Shaheen will be finishing her first term in this swing state, and newcomer Republican Kelly Ayotte won the state's other United States Senate seat by 23 points over a strong Democratic challenger in the 2010 elections. Although no Republican candidates have formally declared their intention to challenge Shaheen, one likely candidate joked about running this week while another entered her name for consideration.[1]

Karen Testerman, a former candidate for governor and state legislator, announced that she was considering a run for U.S. Senate on August 12, 2013. Testerman, a Franklin resident and a New Hampshirite since 1993, founded the conservative group Cornerstone Policy Research in 2000 and has been a well-known socially conservative activist in New Hampshire for many years.[2][3]

Testerman follows former State Senator Jim Rubens in announcing an interest in the state and forming an exploratory committee. Rubens, who served in the New Hampshire Senate from 1994 to 1998, has remained involved in various political issues in the state and has set up an exploratory committee website. He is considered to be a moderate Republican because of some of his policy stances, including advocating for a carbon tax.[4][3][2]

State Republicans are awaiting announcements from well-known potential contenders, and they almost heard one from State Senator and former U.S. Representative Jeb Bradley (R) on August 5, 2013. Bradley, who was dining with U.S. Representative Peter King (R), a friend and potential contender for the White House in 2016, was asked about a potential run for U.S. Senate. Bradley reportedly told the crowd that "All the rumors are true," adding that, "the reaction I’m getting is very positive." Bradley later said, in an interview with The Nashua Telegraph, that the reporters had misunderstood his comments. He said that he was joking, and told The Telegraph that, "I haven’t made a decision. That’s where it stands, period."[5][6]

Finally, New Hampshire Republicans are waiting on a decision from former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R), who owns a summer home in New Hampshire and has attended several events in the state recently. He has mentioned his interest in running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, and has criticized Shaheen's policy stances publicly. However, he has recently also expressed interest in running for governor of Massachusetts.[5][7]

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