New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader and former U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley announced his endorsement of Ovide Lamontagne for governor on Tuesday. He made the announcement to John DiStaso’s Granite Status, becoming the first state senator to make an endorsement in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
Bradley, a former 1st District Congressman who was briefly flirting with a gubernatorial run before deciding to pass on the race, cited Lamontagne’s qualifications, including knowledge of education funding, which Bradley predicted will be the “primary issue that will drive public policy for the next few years.”
His 2012 campaign marks Lamontagne’s second bid for governor; he formerly ran as the Republican nominee in 1996, ultimately losing to Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Lamontagne has also been defeated in other primary bids, including a 1992 Congressional run, and his 2010 U.S. Senate campaign.
Bradley praised Lamontagne, calling him “a conservative of unwavering principle” who can unite the GOP and “attract independents and Democrats with his optimistic, hopeful message about the future of our great state.” Lamontagne has the experience and skills necessary to “create jobs, reform government and renew our New Hampshire advantage,” Bradley said.
Bradley also detailed how Lamontagne worked with him on the Constitutional amendment on education funding currently making its way through the NH legislature, calling Lamontagne “a scholar of the New Hampshire Constitution.”
Lamontagne welcomed Bradley’s endorsement, stating that he is “honored” to have Bradley’s support, and that Bradley’s leadership “has been critical to reducing spending, balancing our budget and implementing much-needed reform.” “Jeb shares my vision for getting our state turned around,” added Ovide.
The first salvo in the big-name endorsement war, Bradley’s nod will doubtlessly help Lamontagne as he faces several opponents including Kevin Smith in a tough primary that is predicted to get more crowded over the next several months.