#NHPolitics Weekly Ins and Outs — April 21, 2024

By Colin Booth

April 21, 2024

Another week of #NHPolitics Ins and Outs, taking you on a tour of the ins and outs of the ever-changing world of New Hampshire Politics, keeping score of the winners and losers week-by-week — and letting you know who’s in and who’s out.

Let’s get into it.

 

Who’s In?

NHDP Brings In Heavy Hitters — The New Hampshire Democratic Party brought in a pair of heavy hitters this week for the 2024 campaign cycle, hiring Ty McEachern as its new Communications Director, hailing from Senator Jeanne Shaheen‘s office, and Senior Advisor Gates MacPherson, coming from top shelf communications firm SKDK. Both staff are seasoned political communications professionals with deep New Hampshire ties and experience.

The New Hampshire Republican party responded to the hiring (a strange move itself) by saying, “The best comms staffers in the world couldn’t convince Granite Staters that the radical @NHDems agenda is good for our state,” an endorsement McEachern seemed to appreciate.

Claremont Leaders Want to Toss Stone — Concerned citizens flocked to a recent Claremont City Council meeting this week to make it clear they want State Rep. Jon Stone removed from his director position with Claremont Development Authority and the chair position of the Claremont Policy Committee after records revealed he threatened a mass shooting and sexual violence against fellow police while carrying on a Relationship with a minor his from reporting out of the Eagle Times.

“Those records painted an appalling picture of an unstable and violent man, whose behavior is frankly beyond the pale, not just for an officer of the law or politician, but for any person who holds a shred of decency, dignity or respectability,” said Tosi-Nelson at the meeting.

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Make Moves — This week the campaigns of Joyce Craig and Cinde Warmington made some major moves, with Craig opening a new campaign office in downtown Manchester and Warmington accepting an endorsement from the Concord Firefighters IAFF Local 1045 and releasing a climate action plan.

 

Who’s Out!

A Festering Interview — New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu’s disaster press appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos reverberated deep into the week, with coverage and think pieces from major publications insinuating that the governor’s willingness to support the former president was emblematic of a “deep rot” at the core of the Republican party.

In their piece,”Trump’s Willing Accomplice,” Peter Wehner of the Atlantic writes that Sununu’s blind loyalty to Trump shows his “partisan loyalty comes at the cost of his integrity” and is compared unfavorably to figures like Liz Cheney. This joins articles from MSNBC, Vanity Fair, Daily Beast, among others.

Guard Goes Undefended — Efforts by a group of House Republicans to pass legislation requiring Congress to declare war before deploying New Hampshire National Guard hit a brick wall of reality in the State Senate this week, when the bill was killed among concerns it would nearly $400 million in federal funding for the guard in immediate jeopardy if passed.

Democrats became skeptical of the motivations behind the movement after Governor Sununu and other “Defend the Guard” backers quickly supported efforts to send National Guard troops to the Mexico border in a political stunt designed to highlight immigration issues in an election year, a move showing little care for guard troops when partisan political games are involved.

Questions Mount on Ayotte Connections to Rep. Stone — Following reporting from InDepthNH that the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council knew about disturbing allegations against now-State Rep. Jon Stone police records, all eyes have been on Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte as it was revealed she was a member of the council as New Hampshire Attorney General when the allegations were made.

Multiple reporters are known to be seeking documents — contemporaneous meeting minutes or other materials — seeing if Ayotte was present at meetings where the situation may have been reviewed. Rumors are that the Ayotte campaign themselves are seeking the documents as well.

NH GOP Headliner Fails to Impress — New Hampshire Republican party announced their headliner for their major Amos Tuck fundraiser would be Florida Congressman Byron Donalds, who they describe as a “Donald Trump loyalist and one of the former president’s most trusted surrogates, is widely viewed to be on Trump’s short list of vice presidential contenders” in a tweet announcing the speaker that engendered just one like.

This comes after previous Trump Vice President Mike Pence recently announced he would not endorse the former president.

One senior New Hampshire political strategist said having such a weak speaker headlining a major dinner was “embarrassing, humiliating and altogether a sign of serious party weakness ahead of a major election contest in which the party has already struggled with fundraising and both in state and with national donors.”

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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