Chris who?

Republicans have not wasted any time announcing their intentions for the 2024 New Hampshire gubernatorial race, hours after Governor Chris Sununu announced he won't seek re-election.

State Sen. Chuck Morse first sang the praises of Sununu and his intention to build on his administration.

"Now that he’s decided not to run for re-election, I’m announcing that I am running for governor to build on those successes," Morse said. "I want to put my experience and leadership to work for the people of New Hampshire to keep moving forward on a path of growth and prosperity for all."

Former U.S. Senator and state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte signaled her intentions in a tweet, thanking Sununu for his seven years in office and promising some "big news in the coming days."

"The battle to ensure that New Hampshire keeps our Live Free or Die spirit must continue. Like many Granite Staters, I fear we are one election away from turning into Massachusetts," Ayotte wrote.

Gov. Chris Sununu
Gov. Chris Sununu (Gov. Chris Sununu)

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said Morse ran an embarrassing campaign for U.S. Senate in 2022 in losing the Republican primary to Don Bolduc.

“Chuck Morse ran an embarrassing campaign for Senate where he repeatedly stated his intention to sign a nationwide abortion ban. He couldn’t even make it out of the primary, where he lost to one of the most extreme and unqualified opponents New Hampshire has ever seen, despite receiving over $5 million dollars in ads from a Mitch McConnell-aligned PAC," Buckley said.

“We look forward to seeing Chuck have a similar experience in his run for Governor."

Why the rush to announce when the election is over a year away?

"Potential candidates typically worry that available campaign infrastructure and money will quickly go to other candidates, leaving them at a resource disadvantage," SNHU Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes said. "Also, there is some benefit to setting the early electoral narrative, before someone else does. That being said, this is pretty fast!"

Spiliotes says Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut will also likely enter the race.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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