Shaheen’s re-election marks the most pressing priority for Granite State Republicans, who have yet to find a top candidate to challenger her.
Aside from the Senate, New Hampshire’s two House seats are perennially competitive. Former Rep. Frank Guinta is raring for a rematch against Shea-Porter in the 1st District. Guinta will first face University of New Hampshire Business School Dean Dan Innis in the Republican primary.
Down the road, Republicans named Executive Councilor Christopher T. Sununu, son of former Gov. John H. Sununu, and state Sens. Jeanie Forrester and Sharon Carson as future players in the 1st District.
Democrats point to U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire John P. Kacavas, state Attorney General Joseph Foster, state Sen. Andrew Hosmer, state Sen. Donna Soucy and Manchester Alderman Garth Corriveau as would-be successors to Shea-Porter someday.
In the slightly more liberal 2nd District, former state Sen. Gary Lambert is the most organized challenger to Kuster. Sources say that state Rep. Marilinda Garcia is also mulling a run. If Garcia passes, Republicans say she will be recruited to run again in the future.
Forrester could run in either House district because her legislative district straddles both. Several more Republicans — Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, state Sen. Bob Odell and former Executive Councilor Dan St. Hilaire — could also run in the 2nd District.
Democrats mentioned state Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, Shaheen state director Mike Vlacich, former state Sen. Deborah Reynolds and Concord City Councilor Amanda Grady Sexton as potential heirs to Kuster’s seat if she leaves office.
There’s no shortage of candidates in New Hampshire, which boasts the largest legislative body in the country with a 400-member state House. The state is also known as a place where unknown politicians can quickly rise.
“New Hampshire’s a state that values person-to-person and town-to-town campaigning. Anybody can run for office. There’s no hierarchy,” GOP consultant Ryan Williams said. Williams is a former state GOP spokesman.
“There’s a long history of people running from outside of politics for Congress, governor and senator and winning because New Hampshire is a small state where if you knock on enough doors and have a good enough message, you can win,” Williams said.
Farm Team is a weekly, state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.