Schumer Fails Again to Recruit Senate Candidate

Dan McCready: 'I’ve also been very clear that I’m not running for the Senate'

Chuck Schumer
Chuck Schumer / Getty Images
June 21, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has again failed to recruit a promising Democratic candidate to run for the Senate.

Dan McCready, Democratic candidate running for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, confirmed in an interview Thursday with WCNC Charlotte that he had met with Schumer to discuss running for Republican incumbent Thom Tillis’s Senate seat. But McCready said that he was uninterested in stepping away from his House race to run for the Senate in 2020.

"I did meet with [Schumer]," McCready said. "I’ve also been very clear that I’m not running for the Senate."

McCready is an entrepreneur from Charlotte, North Carolina, who served in the Iraq War as a captain in the Marine Corps. He has never before held elected office.

During the 2018 midterm elections, McCready lost a narrow race to Republican Mark Harris for the 9th District seat. But after allegations and a criminal investigation of ballot fraud committed by Republican operatives, the North Carolina State Board of Elections did not certify the election result. McCready will run for the seat again in a special election this September.

Schumer’s failure to recruit McCready to run for the Senate is characteristic of the difficulty Senate Democrats have had in their efforts to take back the Senate in 2020. While high-profile Democratic candidates have lined up to pursue the presidential nomination, far fewer are interested in entering tight Senate races.

In May, Schumer failed to recruit Steve Bullock for Montana's Senate race, after Bullock announced his presidential candidacy. Robert "Beto" O'Rourke faced calls to run again for the Senate in Texas, but also committed to the presidential race. Stacey Abrams, after a close loss in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, has declined to run for the Senate in Georgia.

Democrats hope a strong showing in the 2020 election will return them to power in Washington. But with an uphill Senate battle facing them, compounded by a dearth of star candidates, the Senate may well remain in Republican hands even if the Democrats win the presidency.