New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who just survived a massive blue wave that handed control of the legislature to the Democrats, has announced he opposes a proposal to have the state party openly support President Trump in the 2020 primary.
A vocal group of Republicans, led by Trump supporters state Rep. Fred Doucette and Windham town selectman Bruce Breton, are promoting a rule change allowing state party officials to promote incumbent Republican presidents in the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation (FITN) primary.
“Whether it’s President Trump or President XYZ, it’s the same,” Doucette told NHJournal. “Republicans work too hard to win the White House to sit back whenever an incumbent Republican is being challenged.”
Gov. Sununu does not agree.
“Whether it’s a primary for the New Hampshire House or the White House, the New Hampshire State Republican Committee must remain neutral in primaries,” Gov. Sununu said in a statement released to NHJournal. “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.”
Gov. Sununu did not mention the other commonly-made argument against ending the NHGOP’s neutrality policy: The risk it might pose to New Hampshire’s precarious position at the front of the line in electoral politics.
“The key argument for allowing New Hampshire to go first is that we give every candidate–well funded or not, well known or not, incumbent or not–a fair shot to make their case,” Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey tells NHJournal. “Requiring party leadership to remain neutral is the best evidence of this.”