Anyone who follows politics in New Hampshire knows that during the past couple of years, the NH Republican State Committee has been like a dysfunctional family that has family members who share a goal and like each other overall, but have been embroiled in public and private controversies that many feel have weakened the family dynamic. The Chairmanship of the party has changed too many times in recent years to be considered positive, and as political giants play political chess games, the energy and enthusiasm of the rank and file has suffered, and the ongoing need of every group for the infusion of new blood has clearly been compromised. It was a disappointing 2012 election year for NH Republicans, and most feel that it wasn't because of a lack of good and able candidates, but rather the thumping was the result of the Republican failure to successfully communicate its own message and instead spend its resources defending the Republican philosophies against a Democratic onslaught that portrayed Republicans as the party that little understands the average person. And then there is the valid criticism that the Republicans failed miserably at embracing the new technologies that have changed the face of political campaigns at every level, and had too much reliance on old methods that left much to chance, and didn't reach younger and newer voters as they are gaining more and more power at the polls.
Almost as soon as the election was over, it was announced that the current party chairman was stepping down after a very short stint at the helm.
Very quickly, longtime political activist and past Congressional candidate Jennifer Horn announced her candidacy for the job. And very quickly, NH political luminaries like Senator Kelly Ayotte gave her their support. A couple of other names were reported as likely candidates, but none wound up entering the fray. It almost seemed that Jennifer was the "heir apparent" for the position.
And then came Andrew Hemingway, a rising star in NH politics, and he entered the race with a clear set of priorities that he put forth are needed if the NH Republican Party is to regain its strength, attract new members, and have success in the very important 2014 elections.
Now there is a vigorous race between the two, and in some ways, the race may become a contest between the political "behemoths" of the "glory days" and the younger political "upstarts" who recognize that while experience is a great thing and is not to be unheeded, failure to recognize a changing world and new ways of doing things will be the death of long established entities.
On January 26, delegates of the NH Republican State Committee will hold its annual meeting at Bedford High School. Five hundred people from across the state will elect the new NH Republican Chairman. And who will it be?
While only delegates can cast a vote, those Republicans who are not delegates should be paying attention to those who want to bring the party into the future, and should contact their local delegates to talk to them about whom they feel should be elected.
I invited both Jennifer Horn and Andrew Hemingway to do "Tell It Like It Is" shows to discuss their philosophies and ideas.
The show with Andrew Hemingway was taped on Monday, and is now available for your viewing on YouTube, and will also appear on an upcoming BCTV schedule.
Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, watch the show to hear Andrew's take on the 2012 election, the Republican party, and the future of political organizations and political campaigns. Compelling stuff. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/PM4M7B_R6Zg