MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Tuesday that he is forgoing a run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire.
Lewandowski, a Republican, said on Twitter that his “priorities remain my family and ensuring that @realDonaldTrump is re-elected POTUS.”
“While taking on a career politician from the Washington swamp is a tall order, I am certain I would have won,” Lewandowski tweeted.
Trump had earlier thrown his support behind a possible Lewandowski run as Republicans look to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat. But Lewandowski signaled during an October radio interview on “New Hampshire Today with Jack Heath” that he might not run for the seat, saying Trump’s re-election was his priority.
A handful of other Granite State Republicans have already announced their entries into the Senate race. Retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien and former U.S. Army Ranger Bryant “Corky” Messner are all looking to challenge Shaheen in the 2020 general election.
Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, opted to run for re-election to the governor’s office instead of challenging Shaheen.
Lewandowski said he will endorse a candidate “in the near future.”
Lewandowski served as the president’s first campaign manager and remained close to Trump even after he was fired from the job after clashing with the now-imprisoned strategist Paul Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman, and the president’s children. During Lewandowski’s tenure, he was charged with misdemeanor battery for grabbing a Breitbart News reporter’s arm at an event. The charge was later dropped.
New Hampshire gave Trump his first primary victory in 2016, though Trump went on to narrowly lose the state in the general election to Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 2,700 votes. Then–U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, lost her 2016 re-election race by just over 1,000 votes.
New Hampshire now has an entirely Democratic congressional delegation, and Shaheen, a longtime politician in the state, has appeared to benefit as members of a large field of 2020 presidential candidates have praised her at campaign stops in the state throughout the year.
The most recent federal campaign-finance filings available show that, at the end of September, Shaheen had more than $4 million in cash on hand, giving her far more than her three Republican challengers combined.