Has NH Gov. Chris Sununu Decided Not to Seek Fifth Term?
🔴 Gov. Chris Sununu's term ends in 2024
🔴 He decided against a presidential run
🔴 One Democrat and no Republicans have announced 2024 gubernatorial campaigns
The next Chris Sununu guessing game will be about whether or not he makes a run for a fifth term as New Hampshire governor.
The Republican gave serious thought to a run for U.S. Senate in 2022 but passed on a potential battle with incumbent Maggie Hassan. Sununu appeared to be leaning towards making a presidential run in 2024 but decided against it. The governor felt he could have more influence on the nominating process as a sitting governor who speaks candidly and gets behind another candidate.
His next political decision is about the 2024 New Hampshire gubernatorial race but it appears he may not mount a campaign.
Going out on top?
During a conversation Friday morning on WEEI's Greg Hill Show Sununu mentioned he is "probably out of here in 18 months or so. I don't know, I don’t think I’m going to run again," Sununu said.
The governor believes that if he does run for a fifth two-year term he would win. There is no term limit on the office.
"I'll make a firm decision this summer. Not leaning towards it. We're crushing it in New Hampshire. This isn't a career, it's public service. Someone else kind of needs to take the mantle. I've got kids to put through college. I don't know. You go out on top," Sununu said, adding that the legislature could carry him out like Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger in the movie "Rudy."
"We've done great and it's time for someone else to come in. That's where my head is right now," Sununu said.
Options after office
SNHU Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes said Sununu is talking like someone who is ready to move on, but he also likes to keep people guessing.
If Sununu decided he has had enough of Concord what would he do?
"He would likely have a lot of options in the private sector, including with his own family's business interests like Waterville Valley. The world of corporate boards can also be quite lucrative for someone with his credentials," Spiliotes said. "He could also decide to keep one foot in the political/policy world, as a way of maintaining his visibility and political capital for a future presidential run. A lot of former elected officials do both at the same time - make a lot of money and maintain visibility."
Or, he could leverage his promised endorsement of a candidate in the New Hampsire primary into a future position.
"If he endorses and campaigns for a winner in the current election cycle, maybe he ends up in that president's Cabinet," Spiliotes said.
Democratic Executive Council member Cinde Warmington from District 2 is the only announced candidate for the 2024 New Hampshire gubernatorial race. Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig has launched an exploratory committee for a possible run.