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Rubens Weighing Senate Run Against Shaheen

Jim Rubens (

Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Jim Rubens ( Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Hanover — A centrist Republican long active in the fights against global warming and expanded gambling is considering a run against U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in 2014.

Etna resident Jim Rubens, who served two terms in the state Senate in the 1990s, said yesterday he is exploring a run and would focus on what he called “unaddressed generational challenges” of the debt and deficit, entitlements, health care costs and reforming the tax system.

“I’m just in phone calling mode and checking out the landscape for a consideration of a run in the GOP primary for the 2014 U.S. Senate seat,” Rubens, a 62-year-old investor, said.

Rubens, who supported former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman in the 2012 New Hampshire primary, has served as chairman of the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling, which earlier this month helped defeat a drive for a casino in southern New Hampshire.

He recently also ceded his role as a consultant for Union of Concerned Scientists, where he has worked to combat global warming.

Rubens said he supports a carbon tax, as long as it is a “revenue neutral tax swap,” as a means to control greenhouse gas emissions, and said both parties have to work together on the challenges he identified.

“We all know these problems have been around for a long time ... it’s going to take Republicans and Democrats to some extent working together,” Rubens said. “If we try to do it like ‘Obamacare,’ which was a one-party solution, it ends up not being politically durable.”

Rubens has run statewide once before, narrowly losing in a crowded GOP primary for governor in 1998. Shaheen ultimately won election as governor that year, and is completing her first-term in the U.S. Senate.

She reported almost $1.5 million in her campaign coffers at the end of March, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Former U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican who is now the majority leader in the state Senate, is also said to be eyeing the race.

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com or 603-727-3217.