Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced on Tuesday that he will seek reelection to a fourth two-year term instead of running for the United States Senate, chipping away at the GOP’s hopes of regaining its majority in the split 50-50 upper chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.

Had he chosen to run, Sununu would have been a formidable challenger to incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat whose approval ratings have significantly slipped in recent months. Sununu’s popularity has also taken a hit, although a plurality of voters still approves of his job performance. Last year, Sununu cruised into his third term with 65% of the vote, outdoing former President Donald Trump in the state by roughly 20 points.

The governor, however, has stated that he has no interest in participating in the dysfunction that has come to define politics in Washington.

“My responsibility is not to the gridlock and politics of Washington. It is to the citizens of New Hampshire,” Sununu said at a news conference.

“I’m not beholden to anybody in Washington D.C.,” Sununu added later. “If I were to go down to Washington, I’ve got to make sure my skill set fits it, make sure that they understand I would have certain expectations to move things forward, to actually get stuff done. And I’ve been critical of Republicans as well as Democrats on their unwillingness, sometimes, to move the dial in Congress and the Senate.”

Sununu reportedly gave no heads up to his Republican colleagues in the Senate, who were banking on an easy flip of Hassan’s Senate seat.

“I guess you’ll have to let them know,” Sununu told reporters.

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