New Hampshire’s Republican governor will not seek a fifth term in office in 2024.
Governor Chris Sununu did not say what his plans are once his current term is over, despite previously being being pressured to seek federal office.
“This was no easy decision as I truly love serving as Governor,” wrote Sununu in an email, according to AP News. “Public service should never be a career, and the time is right for another Republican to lead our great state.”
Sununu took office in 2017. At 42, he was the youngest governor in the country. He was most recently reelected in 2022 with 57% of his state’s votes.
“He had a relatively smooth first term when Republicans held legislative majorities, made lavish use of his veto pen when Democrats were in control during his second, and easily won a third term after campaigning on his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic,” reports CBS News.
He denied having plans to run for the presidency earlier this summer.
“The stakes are too high for a crowded field to hand the nomination to a candidate who earns just 35 percent of the vote, and I will help to ensure this does not happen,” he wrote on Twitter on June 5.
In an opinion piece published by The Washington Post explaining his decision, Sununu said the Republican Party “is on a collision course toward electoral irrelevance without significant corrective action.”
“The path to winning was clear, but I believe I can have more influence on the future of the Republican Party and the 2024 nominating process not as a candidate but as the governor of the first-in-the-nation primary state — a governor who is unafraid to speak candidly about issues, candidates and the direction of our party, untethered from the limitations of a presidential campaign and unleashed from conventional boundaries,” he wrote.
Sununu said former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner, “did not deliver on his promises to drain the swamp, secure the border and instill fiscal responsibility while in office — and added $8 trillion to our national debt.”
“If he is the nominee, Republicans will lose again,” said the governor. “Just as we did in 2018, 2020 and 2022. This is indisputable, and I am not willing to let it happen without a fight.”
Too many other candidates who have entered this race are simply running to be Trump’s vice president. That’s not leadership; that’s weakness. Too many candidates are afraid to confront Trump, surrendering to his attacks. I will have more credibility speaking out against Trump as a non-candidate to help move the conversation toward the future I believe the Republican Party should embrace.
The best path forward is to promote limited government, individual responsibility and personal freedoms. Over the next few months, I will travel the country to bring on new voters, inspire the next generation and help grow our party. The stakes are too high for any of us to sit on the sidelines.
He also declined to run for the United States Senate, opting to remain in New Hampshire instead.
He told The Washington Examiner in January of 2022 that the Republican Party was “content with the speed at which they weren’t doing anything” and that he did not want to spend two years as a “roadblock” for President Joe Biden.
“It was very clear that we just have to hold the line for two years. OK, so I’m just going to be a roadblock for two years. That’s not what I do,” Sununu said. “It bothered me that they were OK with that.”