Governor Chris Sununu may be farther along in his decision process about a 2024 presidential run than he is letting on, as he runs ads in two key primary states.

His comments during a one-hour profile with CNN's Dana Bush about being  "open" to a run were typical of his response when asked about his own plans.

"My focus right now is New Hampshire. It really is. Because it has to be and I want it to be," Sununu said," Sununu told Bush.

As first reported by NH Journal, a group called "Friends of Sununu" has paid for ads to appear on Facebook in Iowa, which is scheduled to hold their annual caucus, and South Carolina, whose primary follows New Hampshire on the GOP calendar. The posts link to the website touting the governor's record.

The website is paid for by the Live Free or Die Committee. Friends of Sununu is the group the governor uses in his campaign activity.

The governor acknowledged the Facebook ads in a statement to Seacoast Current.

"As I’ve long said, you can bet I’ll be doing my part to help the GOP across the country replicate New Hampshire’s success. Too much is at stake for our party and country to not share our optimistic message of success, and these early states are where the conversations start and have the most impact on the national dialogue," Sununu said.

Gov. Chris Sununu addresses the New England Council 3/10/22
Gov. Chris Sununu addresses the New England Council 3/10/22 (Gov. Chris Sununu)

SNHU Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes has consistently said there is no pressure for Sununu to make any announcement about a 2024 presidential run. However, he is up for re-election as governor in 2024. For now, Spiliotes believes Sununu will take on more of a national role with the party.

"Sununu seems more open to assuming a leadership role in moving the national GOP forward past Trump. Whether that means a presidential run remains to be seen. There is no incentive for him to make any declarative statements in either direction right now," Spiliotes said after the CNN profile.

New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley isn't surprised by the ads and believes he's always had his eyes beyond the Granite State.

"After a disastrous election night for New Hampshire Republicans, which shows Sununu’s closing margins and inability to lead his party to victory, it’s clear that the only thing driving him towards a 2024 run is his ego. He’s failing here at home, and he’ll fail on the national stage just as quickly," Buckley said in a statement.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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