Portsmouth business owner Dan Innis announced he was “suspending” his campaign for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s first congressional district in an email to supporters this afternoon.
“This is not a decision that was easy to make. With help from my family, my friends, and my advisors, I made the difficult decision to step out of the run,” Innis said in the email. “Needless to say, there were a host of personal and professional factors that brought me to my decision. A big concern was the availability of time to run a full-time campaign for Congress given the other responsibilities that I have in my life at this time.”
In the Republican primary, Innis was challenging sitting representative Congressman Frank Guinta who is running for reelection. This was a rematch of the 2014 primary in which Guinta beat Innis by 8 points.
This year, however, Guinta is facing his own challenges as he works to improve his image after the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) cited him for accepting an illegal $359,000 loan from his parents to help finance his 2010 Republican primary effort.
Interestingly, one of the candidates Guinta beat in that election may stand to gain the most out of Innis’s decision to drop out. Bedford resident Rich Ashooh, who has yet to formally announce his intention to run in 2016, finished in a virtual tie for second place with businessman Sean Mahoney – both with 28 percent of the vote. Guinta finished with 32 percent.
Insiders believe that, like 2010, Rep. Guinta benefits with more candidates running to dissipate the “anti-Guinta” vote. However, as of today only Guinta and Pam Tucker – a four term New Hampshire State Representative and “working Mom” – have announced their candidacy.
“Dan’s decision to drop out of the race will certainly help the ultimate challenger to Guinta, whether that be Rep. Tucker or Ashooh or someone else,” an unaffiliated Republican operative said. “Rep. Tucker certainly runs with the conservative pack, but Ashooh’s effort so far has been anemic, so we’ll all have to see what shakes out over the next few months.”