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Jeanne Shaheen, director of Harvard's Institute of Politics, is expected to resign this week to run for U.S. Senate, according to two individuals familiar with her plans.
Shaheen, the former Democratic governor of New Hampshire, will vie against her 2002 rival for the Senate spot, Sen. John E. Sununu, in next year's election.
Since 2005, Shaheen has led the Institute of Politics, the Kennedy School of Government program known for bringing prominent leaders to Harvard and sponsoring programs for budding student politicians.
The Crimson granted anonymity to the individuals because their relationships with Shaheen and her associates would be compromised if they were named. Calls to Shaheen and a spokesman for the Institute of Politics early this morning were not immediately returned.
Shaheen's decision to pursue the Senate seat was also reported late last night by the New Hampshire Union-Leader.
Shaheen took the Harvard position after serving as the national co-chair of Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.
Shaheen will compete for the seat in a state that has trended increasingly Democratic in recent years. In 2004, New Hampshire voters chose Kerry over George W. Bush, and elected a Democrat, former Harvard Business School admissions director John Lynch, to serve as the state's governor.
In addition, both of New Hampshire's moderate Republican congressmen were defeated by Democratic challengers in 2006, and Democrats took control of the state government for the first time since 1874.
Shaheen's entrance into the race immediately turns New Hampshire into a marquee race, joining Colorado, Virginia, and Minnesota as top Democratic takeover attempts. According to a July poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, Shaheen would handily defeat Sununu by a 54 to 38 margin.
Democratic Party officials have pushed Shaheen to enter the race, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54-'56 reportedly played a key role in persuading Shaheen to run.
—Check thecrimson.com for updates.
—Javier C. Hernandez contributed to the reporting of this story.
—Staff writer Paras D. Bhayani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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