New Hampshire: Shea-Porter Clears Senate Field for Hodes

Posted March 16, 2009 at 6:31pm

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) announced Monday that she will not run for the Senate next year in the Granite State, preventing what could have been a high-profile primary — and an electoral headache — for Democrats.

“I thank the many people in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. who have asked me to run, but I have decided that I do not want to run for the U.S. Senate,— Shea-Porter said in a statement.

Fellow two-term Rep. Paul Hodes (D) announced earlier this year that he would seek retiring Sen. Judd Gregg’s (R) seat. In a statement from his office, Hodes said he had the “utmost admiration— for his House colleague.

“She will continue to serve the people of New Hampshire with honor and distinction as their Congresswoman,— Hodes said.

National party support for Shea-Porter was tepid because Democrats did not want her to leave her GOP-leaning district to challenge another Democratic Member in the Senate primary. With Shea-Porter out of the picture, local and national Democrats will likely coalesce their support behind Hodes.

There are no announced Republican candidates in the race to succeed Gregg, but Granite State Republicans are looking to former Sen. John Sununu or former Rep. Charlie Bass to run. Sununu lost re-election to now-Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) last year, while Bass lost his seat to Hodes in 2006.