N.H. Republican activist Karen Testerman to run for U.S. Senate in 2014
Conservative activist Karen Testerman has decided to run for the U.S. Senate, making her the second major Republican candidate to announce a challenge to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014.
“We want government off of our telephone lines, out of our computers. We want the government to quit monitoring everything that we’re doing and dictating our every move and basically using government agencies to intimidate us,” Testerman told The Hill newspaper Friday.
She wasn’t available yesterday for an interview.
Testerman, a Franklin resident, is a longtime social-conservative activist who founded Cornerstone Policy Research in 2000. She ran for governor in 2010, finishing third in the GOP primary.
In next year’s Senate primary, she’ll face Jim Rubens, a Republican former state senator and 1998 gubernatorial candidate from Hanover. Perennial candidate Andy Martin also has filed to run.
Rubens said yesterday that Testerman’s announcement should bring more attention to the race, with the Sept. 9 primary nearly 11 months away.
“I’ve been alone since May, pretty much alone, and this way we’ll have more attention among Republicans as to the importance of this primary and more opportunity to engage in discussion. . . . So, it’s healthy,” Rubens said.
Shaheen is running for a second six-year term. She first ran for the Senate in 2002 after serving three terms as governor but lost to Republican John E. Sununu. She defeated Sununu in a 2008 rematch.
Sununu passed on another run against Shaheen next year, as did Jeb Bradley, the state Senate majority leader and former congressman, and former U.S. senator Bob Smith.
Former congressman Charlie Bass has said he’s exploring a run, but he’s made no formal announcement about the race.
“I’m certain there’s going to be more people getting into this primary,” Rubens said.
Testerman filed paperwork in August with the Federal Election Commission to create a Senate campaign committee, the Friends of Karen Testerman. At the time, she said she was exploring a run but hadn’t made a decision.
She had asked supporters to sign an online petition and said she would run if 5,000 signed up. She told The Hill, a Washington, D.C., newspaper that covers Congress, that she didn’t reach that goal but decided to run anyway and filed paperwork for the race Friday.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party, in a statement yesterday, dismissed Testerman as a far-right extremist.
“Karen Testerman is out of touch with New Hampshire values and would simply be a rubber stamp for the Tea Party,” said spokesman Harrell Kirstein.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)