Four of them are seeking re-election in November: Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
“As a former governor, we have a real interest in making sure that there is a good, cooperative spirit between the federal government and state governments,” Rounds said on the Senate floor in March.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), Tennessee’s governor from 1979 to 1987, is the only member of the club who’s leaving at the end of the year.
“I’m a recovering governor, so I keep having these outbursts of executive leadership that I try to impose on the Senate, which isn’t that easy,” Alexander, who’s retiring after three Senate terms, said at a medical innovation conference in 2015.
The other ex-governors in the Senate are Tom Carper (D-Del.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jim Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.). Hassan and Hoeven are up for re-election in 2022.
One sitting governor and one former governor are seeking to join the Senate.
In Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is challenging Sen. Steve Daines (R). Montana votes strongly Republican in presidential elections but has split its tickets to vote Democratic for governor, including for Bullock in 2012 and 2016.
In Colorado, former Gov. John Hickenlooper won a Democratic primary June 30 and will oppose Sen. Cory Gardner (R).
Hickenlooper previously ruled out running for the Senate, but Democratic leaders persuaded him to run not long after his presidential campaign faltered. They supported Hickenlooper over other Democrats in part because he won two statewide elections for governor in 2010 and 2014, both good Republican years.
“Downballot Counts” includes a Giroux’s Gem on each weekly episode. Click here to listen.