DSCC - Concord Monitor on GOP Senate Field: Getting crowded in there

Concord Monitor: Getting crowded in there



October 25, 2009




The Republican field in the U.S. Senate race is getting crowded.

So far, Kelly Ayotte is the only announced Republican candidate, with Ovide Lamontagne, Sean Mahoney and businessman Bill Binnie as possible challengers.

Now, Jim Bender looks increasingly likely to jump in.

Bender, a 56-year-old businessman from Hollis, has sent up an exploratory committee, a website and a YouTube channel. He has been making the rounds of state Republican events.

Bender is campaigning on a platform of reducing federal spending, simplifying government regulations - including the tax code - and instituting Congressional term limits. (Yes, he would abide by that himself and serve only two terms.) On Friday, Bender sent a letter to hundreds of friends stating that he is "actively exploring" a Senate run. "(My wife) Susan and I are taking on this challenge, because our government spends too much, taxes too much, wastes too much and borrows too much," he wrote. "It is inefficient at most everything it does, and it is much too big."

Bender, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School, drew on his experience as a businessman turning around companies. He wrote that he would fight against the "sense of entitlement" in Congress.

Bender helped start a personal computer peripherals business called IDEA, which took in $25 million in revenue within three years, he wrote on his website. He is the former president of Logicraft, a network server company that he ran for eight years and then sold.

He summed up his views this way at a recent Harvard University panel discussion: "If the United States government were a business, we'd almost certainly be in Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) right now."