Chuck Morse, New Hampshire Senate President, didn’t allow a strong winter storm to stop his official U.S. Senate campaign launch. Longtime businessman and Republican state legislator, the candidate declared his candidacy in an outdoor kickoff event held in front of his nursery, garden center, and florist in southern New Hampshire. This was just as a major nor’easter was pounding into New England.
Morse said that he has been plowing for more than 30 years and would be plowing again tomorrow to ensure the campaign’s success. “I have worked hard all my life fighting snowstorms. We’ll do it the same way that we’ll fight to win this U.S. Senate Seat.”
Morse stood in the rain and thanked his supporters for “coming out on a cold, snowy New Hampshire morning.”
He pointed out the business that he had started and said that it was “over 30 years ago, 3 acres, a lot dirt, a heap of debt, an idea, and a dream.” It now has more than 13 acres of land and 50 employees. This is the American dream, right here.
Morse is the second GOP candidate to enter the race, joining Kevin Smith, a former New Hampshire town manager from Londonderry. They will be joined by retired U.S. Army General Don Bolduc, who was until now the only major Republican candidate in this race. They are all bidding for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in an important showdown in November’s general elections.
To regain the majority of the Senate, Republicans must gain just one seat in midterms. This is a net gain from the loss they suffered a year ago when they were swept in twin Georgia runoff elections on Jan. 5, 2021.
The GOP is currently defending 20 of 34 seats this year, five of which are open seats. However, four Democratic senators from highly competitive battleground states view them as very vulnerable. Hassan is also one of them due to her poor polling performance over the past year.
The GOP suffered a serious setback when the popular New Hampshire governor made his announcement in November. Chris Sununu, who Senate Republicans considered their top 2022 recruit prospect announced that he would not challenge Hassan but will run for reelection.
Sununu’s instant decision took one of the most competitive and combative Senate races in 2022 midterm elections, and moved it temporarily from the A-list into the B-list.
Morse stated that serving as a U.S. Senator is “a position I am quite qualified for.”
Morse highlighted his many years of experience as a key architect for the Granite State’s budgets and said that “we have proven that our track record of New Hampshire in lowering taxes, getting out of business is a blueprint that should be taken to Washington and that’s exactly what I intend to do.”
Morse was part of rough negotiations with the then-Gov. During a 2015 budget impasse, Hassan targeted Morse and other Democratic lawmakers in Washington and argued that their policies with energy and excessive expenditure are what is causing the country to abandon them.
Morse took aim at the lack of fiscal discipline in Washington, and claimed that Hassan had done nothing to address it.
Hassan’s campaign team argued against this, with Kevin Donohoe, the campaign spokesperson, telling Fox News that Senator Hassan had a long track record of cutting taxes for small businesses and families in New Hampshire — and also working to reduce government waste.
Morse’s official entry into the Senate race is one week after Smith declared that he would be running for the position at a Londonderry campaign launch event.
Smith was also the chair of the Pease Tradeport’s development authority. It was built from an ex-U.S. Air Force base. This is Smith’s second statewide campaign after he lost his bid for the 2012 GOP governorship nomination.
“Washington is failing.” Smith stated that we need new leaders who are imbued in common sense, decency, compassion to replace the distant, dishonest and disinterested career politicians in Washington, D.C.” Smith spoke during his campaign launch speech, a speech that portrayed him as an outsider.
Since launching his second consecutive bid for the Senate, Bolduc has been running an “outsider’ campaign for the Senate. This began almost 15 months ago. He was unsuccessful in his bid for the 2020 nomination.
This week, Rick Wiley, an ex-political director of the Republican National Committee, hired veteran GOP consultant Rick Wiley. Wiley was also Wisconsin’s campaign manager. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign in 2016.
Wiley stated in a strategy note that the midterms would be an “outsider election” as voters are “fed up with politicians and don’t trust them”.
Bolduc is not the only candidate with an experienced operative as their advisor. David Carney, an experienced Republican strategist who has worked on numerous Republican presidential campaigns and statewide campaigns, was hired as Morse’s general consultant. Michael Dennehy is a long-standing Republican consultant based in New Hampshire who has worked on numerous GOP presidential and state campaigns. He will be guiding Smith’s Senate bid.
The assistance can be used by all three candidates, since a Saint Anselm College Survey Center Poll conducted earlier in the month showed that New Hampshire voters know very little about the GOP contenders.
Hassan, who was a former senator from the state and was elected twice as governor, is not a case of that.
It doesn’t matter which candidate wins the September primary for their party, Hassan will be difficult to beat in November, because she has a history winning difficult elections.
As a first-term governor in 2014, Hassan won re-election in another difficult cycle for Democrats. She narrowly beat Kelly Ayotte in 2016, in a thrilling battle. Hassan is also building a formidable fundraising army.