MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — 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 supportbehind a possible Lewandowski run as Republicans look to unseat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. But Lewandowski signaled during an October radio interview on “New Hampshire Today with Jack Heath” that he may not run for the seat, saying Trump’s reelection was his priority.
A handful of other 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 reelection 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 now-jailed strategist Paul Manafort and the president’s children. During Lewandowski’s tenure, he was charged with misdemeanor battery for grabbing a reporter’s arm at an event. The charge was later dropped.
New Hampshire gave Trump his first primary victory in 2016, though the Republican went on to narrowly lose the state in the general election to Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 2,700 votes. Then-New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, also a Republican, lost her 2016 reelection 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 benefited from the large field of 2020 candidates who have praised her at different campaign stops 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.