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New Hampshire: Bass Looking to Make a Comeback in 2010

Former Rep. Charles Bass (R) announced Wednesday that he will explore a bid for his former House seat, setting up what is expected to be a competitive race in the Granite State.

“Over the last few months I have spoken with friends, family and colleagues about the possibility of a return to public service,— Bass said in a statement. “This exploratory committee is the next step in this process.—

The district has voted increasingly for Democrats over the past several years, but Republicans believe Bass’ candidacy boosts their chances of winning back the seat. The six-term Republican lost re-election in 2006, when Rep. Paul Hodes (D) — who is running for Senate next year — defeated him.

A couple of other Republicans have already announced their candidacies, and several Democrats are already campaigning to succeed Hodes. Republicans’ 2008 nominee, radio host Jennifer Horn, announced her campaign for the seat in September. Former state Rep. Bob Guida (R) has also set up an exploratory committee to look at running.

Senate Primary Could Be a Real Fender Bender

Yet another Republican has launched a Senate campaign in the Granite State, where Sen. Judd Gregg’s (R) retirement has opened up a competitive GOP primary.

Businessman Jim Bender (R) launched a Web site for his exploratory bid this week. Bender joins 1996 gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney and businessman William Binnie as a likely candidate in the race.

“I’m strongly considering a candidacy because we need to get the federal deficit under control and we need congressional term limits,— Bender told the New Hampshire Union Leader this week.

National leaders recruited Ayotte to run this summer after public polls showed her in a solid position to take on the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Paul Hodes. But since Ayotte announced her exploratory committee in July, several Republicans candidates with access to personal financial resources have announced their respective campaigns.

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