Messner becomes the third Republican to launch a 2020 Senate campaign

  • Bryant ‘Corky’ Messner —Courtesy

For the Monitor
Published: 9/4/2019 7:08:23 AM

Bryant “Corky” Messner on Wednesday formally jumped into the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in New Hampshire.

“I am running for United States Senate to protect the American Dream by standing up to the far-left policies of career politicians like Jeanne Shaheen,” Messner said in a statement. “New Hampshire deserves a United States Senator who shares our values and puts our people before their own political aspirations.”

 Shaheen, a former governor, is running for a third six-year term.

In a two minute video declaring his candidacy, Messner described himself as a “political outsider” and a “job creator.” 

The move by the trial lawyer and Army Ranger veteran who graduated from West Point comes two months after Messner formed an exploratory committee as he weighed a Senate campaign.

 Messner becomes the third Republican to bid to face off with Shaheen in next year’s general election.

Retired Army Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc, a Laconia native who moved to Stratham after serving more than three decades in the military, declared his candidacy in June. And former New Hampshire House of Representatives Speaker Bill O’Brien launched his campaign in July.

Corey Lewandowski, who managed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign from its start in 2015 through the 2016 primaries and remains a close outside adviser to the president, is also seriously mulling a bid for the Senate.

Lewandowski, a Windham resident who works as a consultant and lobbyist in the nation’s capital, said last week in a radio interview on ‘New Hampshire Today with Jack Heath’ that his decision could come in a week or two, adding “If I had to make a decision today, I’d be in.”

 The president praised Lewandowski during a campaign rally in New Hampshire last month.

While it’s clear Trump would endorse Lewandowski if he decides to run, Messner joined O’Brien in praising the president. 

“in the Senate I will support President Trump’s conservative policies, fight back against the Democrats’ growing socialist agenda, and unify the Republican Party here in New Hampshire,” Messner said.

Pointing to a top issue for Trump and his supporters, Messner emphasized in his video his stance on immigration.

“Let me be clear, it’s time to build the wall, stop the flow of drugs,” he said. “It’s time to stop the Washington double-talk and secure the southern border.”

Messner’s campaign highlighted that the candidate was raised in a blue-collar family in Altoona, Pennsylvania. After graduating from West Point in 1979, Messner became an Army Ranger and served in Germany during the Cold War. Following his military service, he attended law school at the University of Denver and went on to found a law firm that grew to more than 200 employees spread over offices in nine cities.

After calling Colorado home for years, Messner became a resident of Wolfeboro more than a year ago.

The winner of next September’s GOP primary will likely face an uphill battle against Shaheen, who already has nearly $3 million cash on hand as she builds her war chest for 2020 re-election run.

New Hampshire is viewed as a key battleground state and saw competitive Senate races in both the 2014 and 2016 cycles. Republicans see Shaheen's seat as a potential pick-up as they play defense elsewhere in 2020 as they seek to hold their 53-47 majority in the chamber.




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