They are Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), a former state Attorney General; Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.); Jane Norton (Colo.), a former lieutenant governor; former Rep. Rob Portman (Ohio); Marco Rubio (Fla.), a former state House Speaker; former Rep. Rob Simmons (Conn.); and former Rep. Pat Toomey (Pa.).
All seven Republicans face opposition in the primary elections, though most are expected to win. Rubio is taking on Gov. Charlie Crist (Fla.) in a competitive GOP primary that has attracted national headlines. Simmons is vying with Linda McMahon for the seat of retiring Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D).