On Saturday, Elizabeth Girard was president of the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women (NHFRW), standing on stage at a Donald Trump rally in Durham and endorsing the former president.

Today, she is the former president of the NHFRW and the central figure in a fight that has embroiled her organization in recriminations and accusations. Its backlash is almost certain to impact Girard’s latest project, getting elected as New Hampshire’s Republican National Committeewoman.

Girard insists she has done nothing wrong. However, several current and former NHFRW leaders are outraged by her decision to violate the organization’s longstanding rule of not picking sides in a GOP primary. And they point to statements Girard made just a few months ago declaring that the organization’s leaders are forbidden from endorsing in GOP primaries.

“She’s a snake,” one GOP activist and NHFRW member told NHJournal on background.

At issue is Girard’s decision to endorse Trump while still head of the NHFRW, a move several members said violated the national federation’s rules. And within a few hours of her announcement at the Trump rally, Girard had released a letter announcing she is now a co-chair of the Trump campaign in New Hampshire.

Now, she is under fire from other GOP women activists, including the head of the state’s oldest GOP women’s organization, the Seacoast Federation of Republican Women.

“Seacoast Republican Women reiterate their commitment to a non-endorsement policy in Republican primaries. We express deep disappointment in the actions of Elizabeth Girard, our NHFRW president and a member of our club, for abandoning the policies she has strictly upheld until they conflicted with her own personal agenda,” Seacoast Republican Women President Sayra DeVito said in a statement released Monday night.

“I find it disheartening that a sitting state president of the NHFRW would blatantly disregard national policy on endorsements,” added former GOP state Rep. Kim Rice. “As a former NHFRW first vice president, I knew to resign my position before endorsing so as not to violate policy, as it was made very clear to us.”

NHFRW Director Christine Peters issued a statement Monday defending Girard.

“I can confirm for you that outgoing President Elizabeth Girard’s actions were completely in line with other NHFRW presidents who have endorsed presidential candidates at the end of their term once the new leadership has been elected and sworn in,” Peters said. “Our new leadership was sworn in on November 18, 2023, at our Fall 2023 Annual Meeting in Bretton Woods. Neither the [National Federation of Republican Women] nor NHFRW requested a resignation, and outgoing President Girard was not obligated to resign.

“However, outgoing President Girard felt it was in the best interest of the membership to let our first vice president serve out the remaining few days of her term.”

That appears to contradict an email Girard sent to her members on April 20.

“A lot of you are asking these questions, so I just wanted to reiterate the rule on endorsements in a presidential primary! Let me know if you have any further questions,” Girard wrote.

“Club presidents must remain neutral in a Republican Primary (cannot endorse).
“State president (me) and state first vice president (Kim Rice) must remain neutral in a Republican Primary (cannot endorse).”

Several Republicans responded to Girard’s endorsement of Trump by tweeting the national federation’s rules regarding endorsing in a GOP primary.

“The president and campaign activities chair of NFRW, any state federation or local club shall not publicly endorse any candidate for public office in any primary, runoff, special or non-partisan race where two or more known Republicans are in the race,” according to the group’s rules.

The Seacoast GOP women’s organization is now calling for Girard to step down from her current leadership role as a director of the state board over her “hypercritical and self-serving behavior.”

“While we appreciate her resignation as NHFRW president, her behavior warrants further action,” the Seacoast women wrote. “We hereby request Elizabeth’s immediate resignation from her future role as NHFRW director. While we appreciate her volunteerism, her long-term ambitions have compromised her capacity to impartially lead our organization, in any capacity.”

This isn’t Girard’s first controversy as head of the NHFRW. In June, she engineered a media campaign attacking Gov. Ron DeSantis for holding a First in the Nation campaign event on the same day as the NHFRW’s “Lilac Luncheon” fundraiser headlined by Trump.

“The Lilac Luncheon is the preeminent fundraiser of the largest grassroots Republican women’s organization in the state,” Girard said in a statement at the time. “This attempt to pull focus from our Lilac Luncheon only diminishes the efforts of the Republican women in New Hampshire.”

In fact, there is no tradition of deferring to the NHFRW event during a presidential campaign year, and Girard was widely mocked within the GOP for what appeared to be an attempt to attack DeSantis on Trump’s behalf. Her actions also resulted in the resignation of the organization’s PR chair, longtime GOP activist Kate Day.

“I vehemently disagree with the NHFRW statement released today regarding the DeSantis event. Although not consulted, as PR chair, I would have advised against any negative statement against a candidate, thereby violating our NHFRW neutrality policy,” Day said in a statement.

The focus now is on Girard’s candidacy for committeewoman, an effort that has suffered a setback, according to several state committee members who spoke to NHJournal on background.

“We’re never going to supporter her,” one state committee member said Monday.

Another state committee member told NHJournal that Girard’s endorsement of Trump is viewed by some Granite State Republicans as a betrayal of the group’s mission.

“She’s endorsing one of the biggest misogynists in the party, instead of a woman who has a chance of being president, Nikki Haley,” a Republican involved in the committeewoman election said.

Several prominent Republicans have publicly endorsed Girard’s opponent in the Committeewoman race, current state GOP Finance chair Mary Jane Beauregard. They include state party chair Chris Ager.

“Mary Jane Beauregard will make a fantastic NH National Committeewoman,” Ager posted on social media. “She is the most qualified person I know to fill the empty position. She has been finance chair during our record fundraising 2023 year. I totally support her.”

Current Republican National Committeewoman Juliana Bergeron is backing Girard’s bid to replace her. However, she did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the ongoing controversy.