Former Democratic congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter has filed paperwork clearing the way for another shot at the seat she lost in 2014.
All eyes have been on the District 1 seat since the Federal Elections Commission ruled earlier this spring that embattled Republican incumbent Frank Guinta had accepted an illegal campaign contribution from his parents.
Shea-Porter said in a fundraising e-mail a few weeks later that she was quote “ready to win this seat back,” but declined to say if she was planning another run. On Friday, she took a step in that direction, filing a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission that will allow her to raise and spend money on a congressional race.
In an e-mail, spokeswoman Naomi Andrews said the FEC filing clears the way for Shea-Porter to challenge Guinta when the time comes. "As the Congresswoman has said, she will run in the special election when House Republican Leaders finish reviewing the case and Congressman Guinta resigns," Andrews said, "the filing also allows for a 2016 option."
Guinta has shaken off calls to resign. Should he seek re-election, however, it could make for an interesting race.
Shea-Porter and Guinta have been trading back and forth in the seat since 2006, and this would mark the fourth time in a row that the two have squared off. This time, though, Guinta would not only have to overcome the fundraising controversy, but opposition from members of his own party who have urged him to step down.
Guinta would likely again be challenged in the primary by former dean of the UNH business school Dan Innis.
Shea-Porter would also face a primary challenger, Businessman Shawn O’Connor of Bedford who entered the democratic race this spring.