House GOP Not Settled On A Leader But Rally Behind Secretary of State Gardner

Nov 19, 2018

House Majority leader Dick Hinch says Republicans trust Bill Gardner
Credit josh rogers / nhpr

Republicans in the New Hampshire House met today ahead of selecting their leaders. Several members are vying to lead Republicans as they move from majority to minority status, but the caucus seems united behind Secretary of State Bill Gardner. 

Bill Gardner is nominally a Democrat, but if he ends up holding onto the job he's had more than 40 years, it will be due to Republican support. Last week, House Democrats voted overwhelmingly to back former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern for Secretary of State. The full Legislature takes a binding vote next month. Rep. Dick Hinch, who now leads House Republicans, says GOP lawmakers trust Gardner.  

"We are going to come out strong, united, supportive of Bill Gardner, and we want to take out all of the pay for play out of the campaign for the Secretary of State's office."

Van Ostern's political action committee, Free and Fair NH, has raised more than $230,000 to boost his run for Secretary of State, a position chosen by the 424 members of the New Hampshire Legislature.