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New Hampshire: Guinta Opens Door to Senate, Comeback Bids

Guinta has not ruled out running for Senate in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Guinta has not ruled out running for Senate in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Outgoing Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., will consider running statewide in 2014, perhaps challenging Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“My name comes up for Senate, House and governor,” Guinta told Roll Call Thursday in a phone interview. “Obviously, it’s nice to be thought of in that way. Quite frankly, at this point, it’s something that I will focus on sometime next year.”

But two well-placed New Hampshire GOP sources noted that Guinta, the former mayor of Manchester, expressed a particular interest in the Senate race. Roll Call rates the contest as Leans Democratic.

Republicans view the seat as enticing because the party not controlling the White House historically picks up seats in midterm elections. What’s more, the Granite State has proved itself as the ultimate barometer of Congressional races, electing a new set of House Members in three of the past four cycles.

Guinta emphasized that he thought it was too early to select a race, but said he plans to “see how things play out and keep options open.”

“I’m certainly going to take some time in 2013 to assess and make a determination at some point if I would run,” Guinta said.

Granite State Republicans are waiting for former Sen. John E. Sununu to decide if he will run for his former seat. He’s faced Shaheen twice before: Sununu won their 2002 contest, and Shaheen claimed victory in 2008.

But Republicans cautioned Sununu takes his time with his political decisions, and so he might not make an announcement either way until late next year. That leaves an opportunity for other Republicans, including Guinta, to jump into the race early.

For now, Guinta had mostly kind words to say about Shaheen.

“I think she’s a good senator; I think she’s a good person,” Guinta said. “What these races come down to is the ideological and philosophical perspective of that individual, and whether that’s a fair reflection of New Hampshire.”

Shaheen reported $338,000 in the bank at the end of September. That’s a smaller sum than many of her Senate colleagues seeking re-election in 2014.

Guinta lost to Rep.-elect Carol Shea-Porter by 4 points earlier this month in their rematch. Guinta defeated Shea-Porter in 2010.

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