New Hampshire Republican Matt Mowers on Monday jumped into a key House race in the Granite State, setting up a rematch with Rep. Chris PappasChristopher (Chris) Charles PappasClub for Growth squeezes front-line Democrats on reconciliation plan Gail Huff Brown, wife of Scott Brown, jumps into congressional race in New Hampshire WHIP LIST: How House Democrats, Republicans say they'll vote on infrastructure bill MORE (D).
Mowers, who lost to Pappas by about 5 points in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District in 2020, filed forms with the Federal Election Commission on Monday declaring his candidacy. An official campaign launch is expected next week.
Mowers previously served as a State Department staffer in the Trump administration and ran with the former president’s support in 2020, beating out four other Republicans in the primary that year for the chance to take on Pappas.
His entry hands Republicans a prominent candidate in a marquee House race in a cycle in which the GOP is eager to take back the lower chamber.
Pappas won the open seat in 2018 by nearly 9 points, though the seat has solidified its standing as one of the more competitive in the nation, flip-flopping between parties for most of the past two decades.
Republicans are also banking on a favorable environment in 2022 to retake such swing districts. The party in the White House historically loses seats in the first midterm of a new administration, and Republicans need to only net a handful of wins to take back the House.
Since his 2020 defeat, Mowers has remained active in New Hampshire politics, including organizing a speaking appearance in New Hampshire earlier this year by former Secretary of State and potential 2024 contender Mike PompeoMike PompeoState Department watchdog probing whether Trump aides took gifts meant for foreign officials Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary Biden slips further back to failed China policies MORE.
Mowers joins a small but growing primary field of Republicans looking for the chance to take on Pappas, though he carries broader name recognition than any other declared Republican candidate thus far.
In a statement responding to Mowers’s candidacy, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) boasted confidence that Pappas would be able to repeat his 2020 victory.
“Last November, voters in New Hampshire rejected shadow lobbyist Matt Mowers for being the out-of-touch and out-of-state swamp creature that he is -- and they will do so again. Mowers joins a pro-Trump, far-right GOP primary more focused on poor impersonations of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE than providing any real solutions for Granite State families,” said DCCC spokesperson James Singer.