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Sununu moves closer to presidential run with creation of new fundraising committee

Gov. Chris Sununu, speaking to supporters on Election Night, Nov. 8, 2022
Dan Tuohy
Gov. Chris Sununu, speaking to supporters on Election Night, Nov. 8, 2022

Gov. Chris Sununu has launched a fundraising vehicle to solicit unlimited contributions from national donors, a key step as he pursues a potential presidential candidacy in 2024.

Sununu first confirmed to NBC News Wednesday that he had formed the "Live Free or Die" committee, a 501(c)(4) organization that permits politicians to raise unlimited money without disclosing the donations.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence, who are also eyeing presidential runs, have already formed similar committees. Haley, the former Republican governor of South Carolina, is expected to formalize her run for president next week.

Sununu’s formation of his 501(c)(4) is the strongest signal yet he’s serious about a possible presidential run.

Since winning a rare fourth term as governor last year, Sununu has ramped up his out-of-state travel schedule and become a regular guest on national political talk shows. Later this month, he plans to travel to Florida to address the Naples Republican Club. He heads to Washington, D.C., this week for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

“I’m excited to talk about the successes that we’ve had in New Hampshire: lowering taxes, creating educational choices for parents and kids, and building opportunities for businesses to grow and thrive," Sununu said in a statement. "What we’ve done in New Hampshire is a great model for the federal government.”

Sununu has also increasingly taken to the national media in recent weeks to cast doubt on the ability of other potential Republican presidential candidates to attract independent and moderate voters.

“They keep talking to the same voters expecting some sort of different result,” Sununu told the Boston Globe last week. “They’re not going after the independent voter.”

Democrats and progressive activists have said Sununu’s efforts to increase his national exposure have come at the expense of state priorities, including calls by mayors of several New Hampshire cities for more coordinated action to address homelessness in the state.

“Hardly a month has passed since Gov. Sununu’s inauguration and he's already looking for his next political job,” said Craig Brown, executive director of Amplify NH, a progressive group. “He has clearly taken his eye off of New Hampshire and the many challenges that have grown during his time in office.”

Sununu’s next chance to promote his philosophy of government will come next week, when he makes his state budget address.

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