House Republican lawmakers had no idea that Sean Hannity was mulling a run for office.
A source in December told The Hill that Hannity had informed guests on his show off-camera that he was thinking about running for office someday in Florida. A source close to Hannity at the time said the Fox News host was "joking."
Hannity this week said on-air that he will leave New York for Florida or Texas, which don't have state income taxes. The native New Yorker also indicated he might run for office in either of those two states.
The Hill last month spoke to more than 10 GOP lawmakers on background to find out if Hannity had privately communicated his political ambitions to them. The answer was a resounding "no."
Another member said, "I haven't heard anything like that. Why would he want to give up his microphone to get drowned out in the Capitol?"
The comments could suggest that Hannity is looking at a state-wide bid. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is eyeing a presidential bid, is up for reelection in 2016.
Lawmakers added that should Hannity get elected to Congress, he in essence would be moving to Washington, D.C. — not Florida or Texas.