New Hampshire Primary Source covers breaking and behind-the-scenes news and analysis on all things political in the Granite State. John DiStaso is the most experienced political writer in New Hampshire and has been writing a weekly column since 1982.
THE SPEAKER’S RACE. Working under the assumption that New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper will be named as the state’s agriculture commissioner and resign as speaker in the coming month, six candidates to succeed Jasper plan to attend a New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus on Nov. 2 in Concord.
Caucus leader Rep. JR Hoell, R-Dunbarton, said Republican candidates who have committed to attend are Deputy Speaker Gene Chandler and Reps. Laurie Sanborn, Al Baldasaro, Jim McConnell, John Burt and Steve Smith. Also committed to attend, Hoell said, is House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff.
Shurtleff’s attendance may surprise his fellow Democrats, but Hoell said he is welcome, noting that officially, the Freedom Caucus is not affiliated with a political party.
Hoell said that as of Wednesday, Rep. Barbara Griffin, who at this point is “considering” a run for Speaker and is not a declared candidate, has not responded to an invitation.
Hoell said that panelists confirmed for the event are Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy Interim President Drew Cline and Manchester business executive Andy Crews, with more to be announced.
Chandler confirmed to New Hampshire Primary Source that if he is elected speaker, he will return to the tradition of using no funds raised by the Committee to Elect House Republicans PAC to favor GOP candidates in primary elections.
“That’s right,” Chandler said. “No PAC that I’ve ever been involved in has supported one Republican over another.”
The PAC, by the way, hosted a $100-a-person (and higher for sponsorships) fundraiser in Concord on Wednesday evening.
Hoell, while not taking sides in a prospective speaker’s race, said, “I think it’s fair for me to say that I’ve seen Gene Chandler at least start to undo some of the harm that caused some of the divisions of this past year. He is building bridges to all factions in the Republican caucus.”
LAWSUITS BOG DOWN TRUMP COMMISSION. Secretary of State Bill Gardner said Wednesday he has not had heard from Washington regarding President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity since he hosted a commission meeting at Saint Anselm College on Sept. 12. Click here.
SCOTT BROWN CONTROVERSY. Scott Brown, the former U.S. senator from Massachusetts who ran unsuccessfully against New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014, is now the Trump administration’s U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and America Samoa. Click here.
REMINDER WHEN? It was only a matter of time before supporters of Joyce Craig’s campaign for Manchester mayor would issue a not-so-friendly reminder of Gov. Chris Sununu’s criticism of Mayor Ted Gatsas during the often-bitter 2016 Republican gubernatorial primary campaign. Click here.
OPIOID FIGHT LEGISLATION. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu took a veiled shot at the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation when he announced that he’ll be at the White House on Thursday when President Donald Trump is expected to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. Click here.
NEGRON CAMPAIGN RAMPS UP. Republican 2nd District U.S. House candidate Steve Negron has picked up the endorsement of a fellow lawmaker who is viewed as a rising star at the State House. Click here.
HORAN BACKS EDWARDS. Republican 1st District U.S. House candidate Eddie Edwards has picked up endorsements from 10 grassroots activists. Click here.
“PRIME MEETS PRIMARY.” Mixed in with the myriad of facts and figures about why New Hampshire is the perfect place for Amazon to set up its HQ2 is Gov. Chris Sununu’s “primary” pitch. Click here.
BANNON EVENT. WMUR reported earlier this week that former presidential counselor and Brietbart CEO Steve Bannon will headline a fundraiser for the conservative 603 Alliance on Nov. 9 in Manchester. For an update, click here.
CANDIDATE FOR OPEN HOUSE SEAT. The filing period for a recently open New Hampshire House seat in Belknap County will begin Monday, and the first candidate has come forward. Click here.
CARD TO ADDRESS POLITICS, POLICY. Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card will be the featured speaker at New England College’s President’s Speakers Series on Nov. 7. Click here.
STEYER: IMPEACH TRUMP. Democratic super-donor Tom Steyer’s has launched a television ad urging U.S. House and U.S. Senate members of both parties to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Click here.
CANDIDATE FOR SHERIFF. Rockingham County Deputy Sheriff Chuck Massahos officially launched his candidacy for county sheriff last week with the endorsement of outdoing Sheriff Mike Hureau, who recently announced he will retire and not seek another term in 2018. Click here.