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Trump Backers in N.H. Drop Challenge to GOP Neutrality Rule

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


Two of Donald Trump's key New Hampshire supporters want the state Republican Party to endorse the president in the 2020 primary.


But after talking with Gov. Chris Sununu, they've decided not to press the issue anymore. 


Historically, both state parties stay out of primary elections. 


But Republicans -- state Rep. Fred Doucette and Bruce Breton -- wanted to change the rules.


"We fought an election, won an election, we have a president that's getting work done for us, why wouldn't we as a party stand behind him?" said Doucette, a New Hampshire co-chair for Trump in 2016.


Their idea made national news, as it seemed like Trump fans in the first-in-the-nation primary state were trying to give the president a leg up over potential challengers. 


Their idea did not go over well with Governor Sununu and other top Republicans.  In mid-December, Sununu underscored his opposition to any such change:

“Whether its a primary for the New Hampshire House or the White House, the New Hampshire State Republican Committee must remain neutral in primaries. After hard-fought primaries, the State Party is the vehicle to unite republicans, and that is hard to accomplish if they try and tilt the scales for any candidate.”


So Doucette says they've decided to drop it - though he maintains the state party should do more to support Trump.

Lauren is a Senior Reporter/Producer for NHPR's narrative news unit, Document.

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