Shaheen is among the group of women Biden has publicly said he would consider as a running mate. But in conversations between Shaheen and members of Biden’s newly formed selection committee over the past few weeks, the New Hampshire senator pulled herself out of contention, the source said, citing her commitment to the state of New Hampshire and her desire to stay in the Senate, a role she enjoys.
Shaheen’s decision came after members of Biden’s vetting team reached out to her for preliminary vetting conversations, the source added.
The news was first reported by WMUR. A Biden campaign aide declined to comment.
Shaheen is up for reelection this November. She served as New Hampshire’s governor from 1997 to 2003 and won her Senate seat in 2008.
Biden has committed to picking a female running mate and has been notably public about the women he is considering.
At a November 2019 event, Biden mentioned both Shaheen and New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan as possible running mates. Both have long been seen as long shot picks — neither has the name recognition of other possible candidates on this list — but Shaheen’s decision to reject vetting shows Biden’s team is still considering lesser known candidates.
“There’s an incredible number of people,” Biden said in November, including “the two senators from the state of New Hampshire.”
Laura Epstein, a Hassan spokeswoman, responded to Biden’s speculation at the time by saying, “Sen. Hassan is flattered to be mentioned, but believes that the biggest impact that she can make for the people of New Hampshire is serving as a U.S. Senator.”
WMUR reported Thursday that Hassan has agreed to be vetted by the Biden team.
“I’m flattered that Vice President Biden publicly mentioned my name as someone whom he would consider,” Hassan said in response to the report. “I am not going to comment about his process, whatever that may be. My focus each and every day continues to be serving the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.”
One issue that would face both Shaheen and Hassan is the fact that New Hampshire has a Republican governor, Chris Sununu, and should Democrats win the White House in November, the governor could appoint a Republican replacement, impacting the balance of power in the Senate.
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