Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s first campaign manager, said Thursday that he is looking “very seriously” at launching a Republican bid to try to dislodge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in next year’s election.
The longtime political operative said in a text message that he has “no time frame yet” for making a decision on whether to move forward but took a shot at Shaheen for what he characterized as siding too often with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“Jeanne Shaheen has failed the people of NH by voting in lock step with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi,” Lewandowski said. “The people of New NH deserve better. If I run, I would be a voice for all people of NH.”
Lewandowski, 45, who advocated a freewheeling style of letting “Trump be Trump,” guided the campaign through some crucial primary wins, including in New Hampshire, a state in which he has lived.
Lewandowski was fired by the campaign in 2016, when Paul Manafort ascended to campaign chairman after an internal power struggle, but he still has close ties to Trump.
Republicans are eyeing New Hampshire as a possible pickup opportunity in the Senate next year.
Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor, was reelected to a second Senate term in 2014 with 51 percent of the vote in a race against Scott Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts who had moved to the state.
Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the Granite State over Trump in the 2016 presidential election by only 2,736 votes.
Josh Marcus-Blank, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, sought to draw a sharp contrast between Shaheen and Lewandowski, whom he called “a craven lobbyist” who has been “credibly accused of assault.”
Marcus-Blank pointed to two episodes to justify the latter claim.
In 2016, Lewandowski was charged with battery by the police in Jupiter, Fla., who said he had grabbed a reporter at a campaign event as she tried to ask Trump a question. The charges were later dropped.
In 2017, Joy Villa, a singer and Trump supporter who wore a “Make America Great Again Dress” to the Grammys, accused Lewandowski of hitting her twice on her buttocks during a gathering at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Lewandowski maintained his innocence.
In a statement, Marcus-Blank also said that Lewandowski was “chomping at the bit to strip away Granite Staters’ health care.”
“Meanwhile, Senator Shaheen is making a difference for New Hampshire families, leading efforts in the Senate to expand access to health care and taking on the big drug companies to lower the costs of prescription drugs,” he said.
Lewandowski has previously run for office. In 1994, he sought a seat in the Massachusetts state legislature. In 2012, he sought to become town treasurer of Windham, N.H. Both bids were unsuccessful.
NPR reported that in the New Hampshire race Lewandowski “upended the town’s politics, using public records laws to probe local government and launching robocalls targeted at voters to stoke outrage over a visit to the town by President Obama.”
Lewandowski’s political career included work with Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group backed at the time by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
Shortly after Trump’s election, Lewandowski launched a government affairs and political consulting firm, openly advertising plans to benefit from loyalty to his former boss. A news release issued by the firm, Avenue Strategies, touted its location “just a block from the White House” on Pennsylvania Avenue and quoted Lewandowski saying, “I will always be President-elect Trump’s biggest supporter.”
Lewandowski left that firm in 2017 and now runs a consulting firm and serves as an adviser for lobbying firm Turnberry Solutions.