A former U.S Senator has announced he will challenge Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, and it is not former Sen. Scott Brown. Former U.S. Senator Bob Smith has announced that, in a reversal of his previous statement, he will challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) next year. Previously, he had announced he would not run. Sen. Smith lost re-election in 2002, when then-Rep. John Sununu beat him in the Republican primary. Smith then moved down to Florida where he worked in real estate and dabbled in Florida politics.
Smith has an interesting past with the Republican Party. In 2000, he ran for President as a Republican, but then ran with the Taxpayers Party, and later as an Independent. However, when Sen. John Chafee died, Smith attempted to get Chafee’s committee chairmanship, claiming he had never changed his party affiliation. Smith later got the chairmanship. Later on, Smith wrote a column in the Concord Monitor that criticized Republicans over their response to the phone jamming scandal in New Hampshire. Ironically, he claimed the scandal could have made the difference between a win by Sununu or Shaheen. Now, he is running to defeat Shaheen.
Many Republicans are still hoping that former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) will run in addition. National Republicans have been reportedly attempting to get him to run. Recently, he changed his Twitter handle to @SenScottBrown, as opposed to @ScottBrownMA. Sen. Brown was a Senator in neighboring Massachusetts, which does share some media markets with New Hampshire. He lost last year to Elizabeth Warren in one of the year’s hotly contested Senate races.