President Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski announced on Tuesday that he will not run for the US Senate in New Hampshire, ending months of speculation that he would challenge Jeanne Shaheen, the two-term Democratic incumbent.
Since the summer, Lewandowski has publicly mused about a run, which probably would have taken an otherwise sleepy race and turned it into one followed by the national media and, of course, the president himself.
In a tweet Tuesday morning, Lewandowski wrote: “After much consideration I have decided to forgo a campaign for the US Senate. While taking on a career politician from the Washington swamp is a tall order, I am certain I would have won. My priorities remain my family and ensuring that @realDonaldTrump is re-elected POTUS,” the acronym for “president of the United States.”
In a subsequent tweet, Lewandowski said he will soon endorse one of the three Republicans already in the race, retired Army general Don Bolduc, attorney Corky Messmer, and former New Hampshire House speaker Bill O’Brien. O’Brien and Lewandowski have described each other as longtime friends.
“While Messner, Bolduc, and O’Brien tear each other down in the contentious primary Lewandowski has left behind, Senator Shaheen will continue working across the aisle for New Hampshire, leading efforts to lower prescription drug costs and making sure veterans and their families get the benefits they deserve,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Josh Marcus-Blank in a statement.
Activists in both political parties were on edge about whether Lewandowski would run, but many had expressed skepticism that he would actually jump into the race, given his lucrative career in Washington and in politics. He has a role with Vice President Mike Pence’s political action committee, and he advises companies on how to work with the Trump administration. He has also said he is considering helping Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection bid.
For six months Lewandowski, a 46-year-old Lowell native, encouraged speculation that he might run — in a style that was very much like Trump’s past flirtations with running for president. He acknowledged he was thinking about it and boasted that he would win. He arranged a meeting with his wife and family and Trump on Air Force One ahead of a New Hampshire rally, where Trump all but endorsed the idea of Lewandowski running.
“He would be fantastic,” said Trump.
Lewandowski made himself available for myriad press interviews in which he stirred the pot. He mocked the Republicans already in the race as well as other New Hampshire Republican politicians who opposed his potential candidacy — including former US senator Judd Gregg, whom he accused of receiving a “military deferment for bedwetting.”
He changed his decision deadline from the end of summer to the middle of October to the end of the year.
During all of this, Shaheen tried to raise money on the mere prospect that she might face such a close Trump ally in her bid for reelection. Shaheen invoked Lewandowski’s name 130 times in fund-raising e-mails, according to a Globe analysis, beginning Aug. 1.
The most recent example — a Shaheen e-mail declaring that “Corey Lewandowski is plotting his campaign to buy New Hampshire’s Senate seat” — came less than three hours before his announcement he wouldn’t run.
James Pindell can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell or subscribe to his Ground Game newsletter on politics:http://pages.email.bostonglobe.com/GroundGameSignUp