The remarks show how close Bradley is to running, though he later told reporters the comments shouldn't be read as a formal announcement.

The former congressman held his House seat from 2002 until he was upset in 2006, and lost a comeback bid in 2008 before rebuilding his career in local politics. He currently serves as majority leader of New Hampshire's state senate.

Polling conducted earlier this year found Shaheen holding a comfortable lead over the former congressman.