Carol Shea-Porter Files to Run Again in New Hampshire (Updated)
Updated 4:09 p.m. | Democratic former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has filed to run again for her old New Hampshire 1st District seat, setting up what could be the fourth election between her and GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta.
The conditional factor will be whether Guinta, who has refused to resign over a campaign finance scandal , stays in the race. He could still resign, in which case there would be a special election. Or he could choose not to seek re-election.
“As the Congresswoman has said, she will run in the special election when House Republican Leaders finish reviewing the case and Congressman Guinta resigns. She has filed to prepare to run,” campaign spokeswoman Naomi Andrews told CQ Roll Call in an emailed statement Monday afternoon.
It’s unclear whether Shea-Porter would run if Guinta sticks around and there’s no special election. Andrews followed up 50 minutes after her original statement to clarify that “the filing also allows for a 2016 option.”
Republicans in the state have called on him to step aside, fearing that he could cost the GOP the seat and hurt the party statewide in 2016. The Guinta campaign did not immediately return requests for comment.
Shea-Porter has long been considering a rematch . In May, she emailed supporters calling on Guinta to resign. “I stand ready to win this seat back and restore honesty, integrity, and competence to the NH-01 seat,” she wrote.
“Carol Shea Porter has always fought tirelessly for the economic interests of New Hampshire families, and after ‘damned liar’ Frank Guinta stole the last election, I’ve heard a lot of people saying that she deserves another shot,” New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said in a statement emailed to CQ Roll Call on Monday.
At the end of the second quarter, Shea-Porter’s campaign account had less than $2,000 in the bank
Shea-Porter could have the operational infrastructure to clear the field in a primary, but she’s not the only Democrat in the race. Businessman Shawn O’Connor filed as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission in February, but he’s struggled to pick up donations. He raised $548,000 during the second quarter, $500,000 of which he loaned to his campaign. He made a similar $500,000 loan in the first quarter.
“I am absolutely confident I am the Democrat who can win and hold this seat against Guinta or whoever else,” O’Connor told CQ Roll Call on Monday. He said he reached out to Shea-Porter — whom he called “strident” and an “ideologue” — before launching his campaign but never heard from her. New Hampshire Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, who has been encouraged to run by some local activists, registered a “Pappas for NH” committee with the secretary of state in January.
Shea-Porter had been mentioned about as a possible challenger to Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte if Gov. Maggie Hassan, Democrats’ top pick, ruled out a bid. But a party operative confirmed Monday that Shea-Porter was “not someone national Democrats had been considering” for the Senate nomination.
Shea-Porter first won the 1st District seat in 2006. She won re-election in 2008, but the seat has swapped hands between the two since then — Guinta unseated her in 2010 and she won the seat back in 2012 before he won it again last November by fewer than 4 points.
President Barack Obama carried the district with narrow single-digit margins in 2008 and 2012. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rates the seat Tilts Republican .
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