Education Commissioner Edelblut Cancels GOP Speaking Engagement

May 17, 2017

Credit Peter Biello for NHPR

Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut has pulled the plug on a scheduled speaking engagement at a GOP event this weekend.

Edelblut had been scheduled to speak at the Hancock Republican Town Committee meeting Sunday evening.

Edelblut represented Hancock as a state representative from 2014 to 2016, and finished second in last year’s GOP primary for governor.

Organizers of the Hancock event say the cancellation was due to a scheduling conflict.

The move comes after Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky raised concerns on Wednesday about whether a sitting department head should participate in a partisan event.

Governor Chris Sununu though, defended Edelblut’s right to attend.

“Showing up to an event is showing up to an event. And again, commissioners have done it in the past. I saw in in my work as an Executive Councilor. I never had an issue with it; I don’t think others should either.”

Edelblut faced questions during his confirmation hearing earlier this year about maintaining political activity while serving as commissioner. Edelblut didn’t rule out future partisan activity.