Gardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director

Gardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law Frustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran Graham: Trump officials not adequately briefing on Iran threat MORE’s (R-Colo.) chief of staff is poised to become the new executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), a spokesman for the senator confirmed.

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Chris Hansen will be tasked with helping to expand the Senate majority as Republicans play offense with a favorable map in 2018. Republicans currently hold 51 seats and are expected to gain one more in next month’s Louisiana Senate runoff. Roll Call first reported the news. 

Gardner was tapped NRSC chairman on Wednesday, replacing Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick Wicker2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Data privacy: Consumers want it, businesses need it — it's time our government delivers it Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment MORE (R-Miss.). In 2014, the Colorado Republican defeated then-Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDenver Post editorial board says Gardner endorsement was 'mistake' Gardner gets latest Democratic challenge from former state senator Setting the record straight about No Labels MORE (D-Colo.) in one of the top races of the cycle.

Hansen managed Gardner’s 2014 Senate campaign and has previously worked on his House campaign. He also helped on Rep. Mike Coffman’s (R-Colo.) 2012 reelection race.

Fresh off a tough cycle where they defended 24 seats and lost only 2 seats, Republicans have a much more favorable map. Democrats are defending 25 seats in 2018 and 10 of those are states carried by President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE last week. Republicans will be on defense in Nevada following Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Hillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign MORE’s victory and Democrats holding onto Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidLobbying World Mitch McConnell is not invincible Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary MORE’s seat. 

Republicans will be hoping to pick up enough seats in 2018 for a filibuster-proof majority, or holding 60 seats in the upper chamber.