Shaheen turns down offer to be vetted as Biden’s running mate

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has declined to be vetted by Joe Biden’s presidential campaign to be considered as the presumptive Democratic nominee’s running mate, a Democratic source in the Granite State confirmed to Fox News.

Shaheen, a former three-term governor who’s running this year for a third term in the Senate, was one of the women that the former vice president has publicly said he would consider as a running mate. Biden separately announced in March that he would name a female as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

While honored to be considered, Shaheen informed the Biden campaign that she loves her job representing New Hampshire in the Senate and declined. Biden has committed to picking a female running mate and has been notably public about the women he is considering.

The news was first reported by WMUR in New Hampshire.

Shaheen’s among a group of contenders that Biden’s said he considering. “There’s an incredible number of people,” Biden said in November, including “the two senators from the state of New Hampshire.”

The state’s other senator is fellow Democrat Maggie Hassan, who served two terms as governor before being elected to the Senate in 2016. Still, both are considered by political pundits to be long-shot candidates to be chosen as Biden’s running mate.

A Democratic source in New Hampshire confirmed to Fox News the report by WMUR that Hassan was also asked to undergo the vetting process, and that she’s agreed to proceed.

But in a statement, Hassan said, “I’m flattered that Vice President Biden publicly mentioned my name as someone whom he would consider. I am not going to comment about this 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.”

The knock against both of New Hampshire’s Democratic senators is that if either ended up as the running mate and the Democratic ticket won November’s presidential election, her Senate seat would open up, allowing Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to name a replacement to serve until the next statewide election, which isn’t scheduled until 2022. Sununu, who’s up for re-election this year as well, would possibly name a Republican to succeed either Shaheen or Hassan in the Senate.

With Democrats gunning to regain the majority this November in a Senate chamber currently controlled by the Republicans 53-47, the prospect of losing a Democratic-held Senate seat and impacting the balance of power is not appetizing. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who’s considered to be one of the leading contenders in the running mate stakes, faces a similar predicament. The Bay State’s governor is Republican Charlie Baker.

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