The last time Carly Fiorina was in New Hampshire, she finished seventh in the February primary and only received four percent of the vote.
But she came back to the Granite State on Wednesday evening, since she suspended her campaign the day after the primary, and this time she’s campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanie Forrester.
“Jeanie was one of my earliest supporters in New Hampshire when I was running for President. Since the very beginning, she understood how critical it was to bring citizen-leadership back to our nation—and she was willing to go to the mat to fight for her principles,” Fiorina said in a statement to NH Journal.
“Now, I’m proud and honored that I have a chance to stand with Jeanie, too, as she runs for Governor of New Hampshire. As a business leader, Jeanie has the skills, the strength, and the experience to get New Hampshire back on track. And as a conservative citizen-leader herself, she’ll take on the establishment—and fight for New Hampshire families.”
Fiorina held a town hall event on Wednesday with Forrester at the Nashua Community College.
“We [were] excited to have Carly Fiorina endorse Jeanie Forrester for governor,” said Michael Dennehy, campaign advisor for Forrester, in a statement to NH Journal. “Carly and Jeanie both represent strong leadership outside of the political process and both have fought the status quo for their entire lives. Having Carly lend her support is another indication that conservatives are coalescing around Jeanie.”
Lauren Carney, former state director for Fiorina’s campaign, said even though her campaign is over, she still has a message to give to the American voter.
“It was certainly natural that Carly would return to New Hampshire and help one of her most vigorous supporters,” she told NH Journal.
Forrester endorsed Fiorina in June 2015 and helped campaign for her in the Granite State. Since suspending her campaign, Fiorina has been traveling around the country to campaign for other Republican candidates and give speeches.
“One thing we know first hand is that she loves campaigning and engaging the voters,” Carney said. “Carly will be talking about Jeanie Forrester and how the state of New Hampshire needs a leader like Jeanie Forrester in the corner office.”
It’s no surprise that Fiorina is stumping for Forrester. Several of Fiorina’s staff from New Hampshire are working on Forrester’s campaign and there was an invitation to join her, Carney said.
Rep. David Lundgren of Rockingham said he supports Forrester, and he also held a couple of events during Fiorina’s presidential run.
“A lot of people respected her and she took a hit by the establishment Republican Party and by knocking her off the stage of the debate,” he told NH Journal. “When she was on the debate, she kicked butt.“
The week before the New Hampshire primary, Fiorina didn’t qualify for the ABC News debate, and a last minute campaign to get her on the stage proved unsuccessful.
It remains unclear if Fiorina will come back to the state again if Forrester wins the Republican primary on Tuesday. She also has not publicly announced support for Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s reelection bid, but Ayotte was a big supporter of allowing Fiorina on the debate stage.
Fiorina isn’t the first former presidential candidate to campaign for a gubernatorial candidate. Ohio Gov. John Kasich came back to the Granite State in August to campaign for Republican Chris Sununu. His visit prompted questions about a possible 2020 White House bid.
Lundgren said he would like to see Fiorina run again.
“I really liked her a lot,” he told NH Journal. “In fact, I keep telling that’s who I’m voting for president. I think she would have done a lot of great things for this country. If nothing’s changed in four years, she might come back. I’m hoping that happens.”