New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who considered but decided against runs for president and the U.S. Senate, said Wednesday he will not seek reelection in 2024.
Sununu, 48, who has been governor since 2017, said in an email that he will not seek a fifth two-year term.
“This was no easy decision as I truly love serving as Governor," he stated.
“Public service should never be a career, and the time is right for another Republican to lead our great state.”
Sununu did not say what his immediate plans would be and did not endorse anyone to succeed him. He said he reached his decision after discussions with his wife, Valerie, and his children.
Shortly after Sununu's announcement, Chuck Morse, former Republican president of the New Hampshire Senate and a former U.S. Senate candidate, announced his campaign for governor.
Morse said in a statement that he’s proud to have worked with Sununu “to put together a conservative, pro-jobs, pro-growth, family first economic agenda that has made New Hampshire the envy of New England and the nation. We lead the nation in economic freedom. We have the lowest poverty rate in the nation and are the number one state for taxpayer return on investment.”
Two Democrats, Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington and Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, have also announced their candidacies for the job.
Sununu, a popular governor who made the rounds on national talk shows this year, announced in June that he will not seek the presidency in 2024. He argued that Republican candidates with “no path to victory must have the courage to get out” of their party’s increasingly crowded primary to stop former President Donald Trump.
Sununu has said he would endorse the GOP’s ultimate nominee in 2024, but argued in a Washington Post op-ed that Republicans must embrace a “course correction” away from Trump.
In 2021, Sununu decided against a U.S. Senate bid, dealing a major blow to Republicans who had hoped he could defeat Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan and help them retake the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.
Sununu, who won reelection in 2020 by more than 30 percentage points, said he could have a bigger and more direct impact as governor than as a senator. In a nod to the slow speed of politics in Washington, he said he didn’t want to spend the next six years “sitting around having meeting after meeting, waiting for votes to maybe happen.”
Sununu, whose father was governor from 1983 to 1989 and later served as White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush, was the youngest top executive in the country when he took office in 2017 at age 42.