A tea party takeover of the NH GOP?

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Kimball is running for Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. Lots of folks are asking: Does tea partier Kimball really have a chance against the establishment candidate Juliana Bergeron, Chair of the Cheshire County GOP?

Tea party candidates faced similar questions across the country throughout the 2010 midterms and they seem to have faced the challenge and come out just fine.

Almost immediately after announcing his candidacy for that post, House Speaker Bill O’Brien and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt announced their support for the tea party leader. Many of O’Brien’s new House members are constitutionalists and tea partiers. Many of them will also have a vote at the GOP’s annual meeting in January. So, yes –Kimball stands a chance, a good chance, of beating Bergeron.

The real question to ponder is what will happen if (when?) the tea party movement gains control of the state GOP apparatus?

Jack Kimball is an opinionated man, with clear, well-informed points of view about all manner of issues. And he possesses a strong sense of what he believes a Republican should be and do, and what it shouldn’t. The problem he may face, however, is that the bylaws of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee require the Chairman to remain neutral in primaries. And no past state GOP Chairman has used his or her position to whip lawmakers on key legislative fights; even when Republicans had control of the Corner Office. Will Kimball abide by such rules and traditions; or will he seek to reform them?

UPDATE: State Rep. Spec Bowers tells Glenn Reynolds of Pajamas Media that yes, the Tea Party is taking over the NH GOP.

Author: Patrick Hynes

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  • Gullyborg

    “the bylaws of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee require the Chairman to remain neutral in primaries.”

    BUT… what power does the Chairman have to initiate an amendment to the bylaws?

    • Patjhynes

      Anyone can propose a change to the bylaws, I believe. But any change would need to be voted on by the entire State Committee or at least the Executive Committee. Personally, I would be surprised if they were to throw out the neutrality requirement.

  • Boyd

    Alright. A very well written and informative article. Maybe there is hope for the MSM yet.

  • Jim Scorse

    I hope he uses the power to influence, otherwise what good is the position???

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Emily-Haase-Rollinson/1375071090 Emily Haase Rollinson

    Wonderful- let’s do it in Georgia next…

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DHML3RPNIIK5PVV76J7IMY6DJY Denver

      The Tea Party and 912 group have taken over the GOP in Polk County, Florida (home of prominent democrats, the late Sen., and Gov. Lawton Chiles, Sen. Spessard Holland (Holland & Knight Law Firm and Congressman J. Hardin Peterson (all segregationists, of course)).

  • Niel Young

    Sorry to disappointment my conservative friends but I am looking at Jack as a Chairman who has no experience. He has shown that he cannot raise funds even for his own campaign. Juliana Bergeron has those qualities and has been active in the NH GOP a lot longer than Jack has been a candidate for governor of all offices! We need someone with a level head who will represent the “Party” with the maturity to command attention when speaking.
    And here is, what is most important to me: the NH GOP must continue to add to the numbers and have a spokesperson who make the argument for doing just that!
    Juliana would be the chairman that can communicate with all Republicans – RINOs to the woodshed.
    This party has two years to prove they need deserve to remain the majority party across the land. Americans are looking for results – SOON! John Stephen should have been elected governor in these times, why wasn’t he?
    Niel Young
    Laconia