Gov. Chris Sununu (R-N.H.) on Wednesday announced that he will not seek a fifth term in office — just one month after he said he would not seek the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“After much consideration, I have decided not to run for another term as Governor in 2024. Be assured we will keep working and that the Granite State will continue to be our priority for the next 18 months,” Sununu said in a tweet Wednesday. “Public service should never be a career, and the time is right for another Republican to lead our great state. This was no easy decision as I truly love serving as Governor. I could not be more proud of our record and it’s thanks to your support that we’ve accomplished so much.”
“It is with great pride that New Hampshire is better off today than we were seven years ago,” Sununu said in a separate statement.
Sununu, a popular GOP governor in a purple state, announced in June that he would not enter the crowded 2024 Republican presidential field.
Writing in The Washington Post about his decision not to run for the GOP nomination, Sununu argued that helping to achieve the primary defeat of former president Donald Trump — the Republican front-runner for the 2024 nomination — was more important than joining the race.
“If he is the nominee, Republicans will lose again. Just as we did in 2018, 2020 and 2022. This is indisputable, and I am not willing to let it happen without a fight,” Sununu wrote. “By choosing not to seek the nomination, I can be more effective for the Republican Party in ways few other leaders can. The microphone afforded to the governor of New Hampshire plays a critical role in an early nominating state. I plan to endorse, campaign and support the candidate I believe has the best chance of winning in November 2024.”
In his op-ed, Sununu called on Republicans to stop pursuing policy strategies that are alienating independents. He also said he intended to spend the coming months traveling around the country “to bring on new voters, inspire the next generation and help grow our party.”
Sununu has been mentioned as a possibility for a third-party presidential run. Although he has been supportive of a potential third party run by the bipartisan group No Labels, he has declined to endorse it. He told NBC News this week that he has not had any conversations with No Labels about being on a potential ticket.
Meghan Meehan-Draper, the Democratic Governors Association’s executive director, called Sununu’s decision not to run for reelection a “massive” recruiting failure for the GOP, saying it “will kick off a nasty, extreme and expensive Republican primary for governor.”
“In governor’s races across the country in 2022, Republican primary voters consistently nominated dangerous MAGA candidates in crowded GOP primaries, who lost general election races because of their deeply harmful and unpopular positions on banning abortion, undermining democracy and attacking public education,” Meehan-Draper said in a statement.
Republican Governors Association Chair Kim Reynolds, who also is the governor of Iowa, said in a statement that Sununu “never backed down from a challenge” and that she’s looking forward “to seeing the work he continues over these next two years.”
“The RGA is committed to ensuring the Granite State continues to have the leadership of a Republican Governor who will prioritize the health, safety and prosperity of the people of New Hampshire,” Reynolds added.