From Paul Steinhauser in New Hampshire- 4 things to know:

  • Swalwell ‘seriously looking at running for president'

  • Castro, after launching presidential exploratory committee, says New Hampshire trips ‘helped me think about taking this step’

  • Booker revs up for likely White House bid

  • New Hampshire Trump supporters try to change primary rules to favor president

Potential 2020 hopeful Swalwell declares Trump’s days of ‘presidential immunity’ are over
Congressman and likely presidential candidate Eric Swalwell predicts that when the Democrats take over the majority in the House of Representatives next month, President Donald Trump “will be held accountable.”
And in a conversation with Fox News and, the California Democrat highlighted that he’s “seriously looking at running for president” and added that his potential White House bid would not be “some vanity project.”
Swalwell was interviewed at the Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester. The iconic eatery is a must stop for White House hopefuls. Swalwell was making his second trip in less than two months to New Hampshire, the state that for a century’s held the first primary in the race for president.

Fox News 
 Swalwell says he’s ‘seriously looking at running for president'.
WATCH: Swalwell says Trump ‘will be held accountable’ 
LISTEN: Swalwell Red Arrow Diner interview with 

Go Deeper

The take from the New Hampshire Institute of Politics – Swalwell has the 2020 spotlight pretty much all to himself this weekend in New Hampshire. Saint Anselm College politics professor Christopher Galdieri says the visit could pay dividends for a candidate who lacks strong name recognition.
“For somebody who’s not as well known, who doesn’t necessarily have the sort of resume you would expect for a presidential candidate, those early signals from activists and party leaders and donors and the like are going to carry a lot more weight than they would with somebody who’s really well known, like Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren,” Galdieri tells THE 603.
Castro: Trips to NH helped him decide on 2020
Julian Castro took a big step this week towards officially running for the White House.
The former San Antonio mayor who later served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee and added that he’d have a formal announcement on Jan. 12.
Castro, who made three trips to New Hampshire this year, told the Concord Monitor and that his interactions with Granite Staters helped him, as he mulled launching a Democratic presidential nomination bid.
“I had a number of conversations with people each time that I was there, that convinced me that the things I talked about, that people want a new generation of leadership, that they want somebody who’s trying to bring people together instead of tearing them apart, that we need to restore a sense of dignity and integrity to the White House, and fundamentally they want somebody with a strong vision for the future of our country,” he recollected.
The 44-year-old Castro emphasized that those conversations with Granite Staters “helped me think about taking this step.”
And as any smart presidential contender should do, he heaped praise on the locals, saying “it’s great in New Hampshire because people pay attention, they follow politics. Folks are in to it".

Fox News: Castro isn’t writing off some of the older potential Democratic presidential contenders, like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But he clearly likes to highlight that Americans are hungering for “a new generation of leadership.” 
LISTEN: Castro’s interview. 
Booker’s NH trip a 2020 preview
Sen. Cory Booker returned to the first-in-the-nation primary state last weekend for a two-day trip that could turn out to be a tune-up for the New Jersey Democrat's potential presidential campaign, said the visit left him "a lot more confident in making decisions going forward."

The Associated Press 
New York Times 

LISTEN: Cory Booker’s interviews on ‘On Background’
NH’s Republican governor opposes push by top Trump supporters to scrap primary tradition in order to endorse the president
Gov. Chris Sununu has close ties to the White House and is a supporter of President Donald Trump.
But New Hampshire’s Republican governor doesn’t back a potential move by three of the president’s top supporters in the Granite State to drop the state Republican Party’s decades old neutrality clause in order to back Trump in the 2020 primary.
“Whether it's a primary for the New Hampshire House or the White House, the New Hampshire State Republican Committee must remain neutral in primaries,” Sununu said in a statement first reported by the Monitor on Thursday.
“After hard-fought primaries, the State Party is the vehicle to unite republicans, and that is hard to accomplish if they try and tilt the scales for any candidate,” the governor added.

Concord Monitor 
New Hampshire’s slot in the primary calendar locked and loaded
New Hampshire's status as the first primary in the race for the White House is secure for 2020 election cycle. 
Concord Monitor
Shaheen moves closer to saying she’s running for re-election
When asked about her extremely likely 2020 re-election bid, Democratic Sen.  Jeanne Shaheen likes to say “I expect to make a decision very soon and I’ll be announcing that.”
But last weekend, at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s 2018 midterm election victory celebration, both Shaheen and the chair of the party made it pretty clear that the two-term senator and former three-term governor would be bidding for another six years in the Senate.
In introducing her, longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley said “we’ve got to re-elect Jeanne Shaheen to the United States Senate in 2020.”
Shaheen wasn’t as direct, but said during her speech that "we are going to hold this Senate seat. We're going to take back the United States Senate.”

WATCH: Shaheen 
Thanks as always for sharing with friends and colleagues, please point anyone and everyone to sign up 
here. That's all we've got, have a great weekend; you can follow Paul Steinhauser, NH's most versatile political news reporter, here, and contact THE 603 co-founder & publisher, Kieran Baker, here.  

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