Senator Bob Smith talks to reporters in the U.S. Capitol, July 13, 1999.

Ex-N.H. Sen. Bob Smith wants his seat back


Mr. Smith wants to head back to Washington. 

Former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith told WMUR this weekend he will run against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for his old seat in the Granite State. 

The Republican’s change of heart comes after initially declining a bid in October. Now, he says he’s jumping in because no major GOP candidates have emerged. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is still weighing a run in neighboring New Hampshire. 

“I have a decision to run again for the Senate,” Smith told WMUR. “This is nothing personally against Jeanne Shaheen, who I like as a person, but I couldn’t disagree more with her politics.”

First elected to the Senate in 1990 after serving in the House, Smith lost the 2002 GOP primary to John Sununu. Sununu went on to win that race, but lost to Shaheen in 2008. 

Since leaving the Senate, Smith moved to Florida, where he tried twice to run for Senate there but ended his campaigns before the primary. Smith launched a short-lived bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2000 and briefly left the GOP to run as a third-party candidate. He rejoined the GOP, but the move helped fuel his primary loss in 2002. 

Former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman are already seeking the GOP nomination in New Hampshire, but all eyes are on what Brown will choose to do. Since losing his re-election bid last year, the moderate Massachusetts senator has flirted with a run in New Hampshire. He continued to stoke speculation after dropping the “MA” from his Twitter handle.