Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., is interviewed in her Cannon Building office on March 7, 2018.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images
Former Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney is leaning toward running again for the battleground House seat she lost during last years midterm election.
Tenney told CNBC she met earlier this year with leaders from the National Republican Congressional Committee, who encouraged her to run for the New York 22nd District seat she lost to Democrat Anthony Brindisi by one percentage point.
"They know that I am the only one who can win it," said Tenney, who added that shes "leaning closer to running."
Democrats picked up 40 GOP seats in a "blue wave" victory to seize the majority in the House, and now Republicans look to reverse that in a presidential election year. The NRCC plans to target Brindisi and dozens of other Democrats in the next round of elections. At the moment, election analysts such as Larry Sabatos Crystal Ball rank the 22nd District seat as a toss-up. Its one of about a dozen seats that Sabato considers vulnerable for House Democrats in the 2020 elections.
An NRCC aide noted that officials have met with a few candidates that could fight for the district and deferred to Tenney on questions about whether she met with them. A spokesman for Brindisi did not return a request for comment.
If Tenney enters the race for Brindisis seat, she would join a growing contingent of Republicans eyeing the district and setting up a potential primary. Steve Cornwell, the Broome County district attorney, has said hes running, while people familiar with the matter added that Binghamton Mayor Rich David is considering the run. Tenneys name recognition would likely make her the frontrunner in a primary.
The last time Tenney took on Brindisi, the NRCC and Republican super PACs such as the Congressional Leadership Fund spent millions trying to defend the seat, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. They tried to link Brindisi with the likes of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The NRCC shelled out $2.4 million, while the Congressional Leadership Fund spent just over $3 million.
The Democrats were regularly returning fire themselves with the Democratic Congressional Committee spending about $2 million in attack ads against Tenney.
The race featured President Donald Trump making his first visit to the district in upstate New York in a bid to gin up support for Tenney.
Brindisi ended up with the fundraising edge over Tenney. Federal Election Commision records show Tenney finished raising $3.2 million while Brindisi brought in $4.6 million. Brindisi raised $476,000 in the second quarter of this year and has $770,000 on hand.
Tenney, on the other hand, still has an active congressional campaign account but didnt raise any money this past quarter. She has just over $46,000 on hand.