Sununu forgoing run for President, with no decision yet on fifth-term as governor

  • New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu speaks at the State of State address at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce event at the Grappone Center in Concord on Tuesday, March 22, 2023. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 6/5/2023 1:33:56 PM

After months of speculation that he may seek a White House bid, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Monday that he will not run for president in 2024. 

It’s a sharp change of tune for Sununu, who has publicly discussed his potential run for president in the past few months in appearances across the country. Many were anticipating a campaign announcement in the coming weeks. 

But now, as a Republican governor with high approval ratings, Sununu says he has a new mission: directing party support away from former President Donald Trump. 

Sununu, who voted for Trump twice, is making a public plea to shift the party in a new direction. 

“Our party is on a collision course toward electoral irrelevance without significant corrective action,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post

And since 2017, the first midterm after Trump’s election, the GOP has watched candidates lose races up and down ballots across the nation, he said. 

That includes New Hampshire. In 2018, 2020 and 2022, Democrats prevailed in U.S. House and Senate races.  

Now, Sununu will travel the country and use his platform as governor to endorse other Republican candidates nationwide. 

That includes the 2024 presidential race, too. He will endorse and campaign for a candidate ahead of the election, he said.

In addition to Trump, current candidates include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to jump into the race, perhaps later this week. 

In order to gain new voters, Sununu also called for the GOP to continue to embrace traditional conservative ideas of individual freedom, low taxes and local government control. He said it is time for Republican leaders to abandon “the issues that are solely made for social media headlines” – like book bans in schools, school curriculum and restrictive abortion bans. 

“Republicans should recognize that every time they open their mouths to talk about banning abortion, an independent voter joins the Democrats,” he wrote. 

However, Sununu himself signed more restrictive abortion legislation in 2021 with his biennial state budget. The policy prohibited abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for fatal fetal diagnoses or risks for the pregnant person. 

Sununu has not made a decision yet on whether or not he’ll seek a fifth term in the New Hampshire State House, according to his office. 

But if re-elected, Sununu, who first won in 2017, would be the state’s longest-serving governor. Recent polls from the University of New Hampshire show that 62 percent of participants approve of his job performance.  

It’s not the first time he has forgone a national race either. Despite pleas from Republican Party leaders to challenge U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan for her seat in the 2022 election, he ran for a fourth term as governor. 

Sununu beat Tom Sherman, a former state senator and gastroenterologist, with 57.1 percent of the vote. 

With 18 months to go to the 2024 election, no Republican candidate has entered the gubernatorial race. On the Democrat side, Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, of Concord, announced her race for governor last week. She’ll likely challenge Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who has formed an exploratory committee, in a Democrat primary. 


Michaela Towfighi is a Report for America corps member covering the Two New Hampshires for the Monitor. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in public policy and journalism and media studies in 2022. At Duke she covered education, COVID-19, the 2020 election and helped edit stories about the Durham County Courthouse for The 9th Street Journal and the triangle area's alt-weekly Indy Week. Her story about a family grappling with a delayed trial for a fatal car accident in Concord won first place in Duke’s Melcher Family Award for Excellence in Journalism. Towfighi is an American expat who calls London, England, home despite being born in Boston.

Stay informed with our free email updates
Concord Monitor Daily Headlines
Concord Monitor Breaking News
Concord Monitor Dining & Entertainment
Concord Monitor Report For America Education
Concord Monitor Report For America Health
Concord Monitor Real Estate
Concord Monitor Sports
Concord Monitor Suncook Valley
Concord Monitor Contests & Promotions
Concord Monitor Weekly Most Popular
Concord Monitor Granite Geek
Concord Monitor Monitor Marquee
Concord Monitor Hopkinton
Concord Monitor Politics
Concord Monitor MY CONCORD
Concord Monitor Franklin

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301


© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy

Customer Service

Social Media


View All Sections

Part of the Newspapers of New England Family