Despite avid support and speculation, Steven Kenda will not be seeking the governor’s office come November. Kenda, a Seacoast-area businessman, thanked his supporters but stated,”[R]ealism is a leader’s most basic qualification, and with that in mind, I have explored a run for Governor with no illusions about the cost, the odds, the goals, and the rewards. And much as I want to help steer New Hampshire toward a brighter future, I have concluded that doing so this year would be unwise.”
Kenda has decided to focus instead on increased growth and employment at his company, HireAbility, and continue to grow the NH economy from the private sector. However, he intends to “keep his options open for the future” as he still has “tremendous concern, about the current economy, and about the direction of our future — Where will we be eight years from now? And what part will New Hampshire play in the new economy?”
Kenda is the second high-profile Republican to forgo a run for the open seat; just weeks ago Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas declined to run as well. This decision leaves Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith to fight it out for the GOP nomination, and take on either Maggie Hassan or Jackie Cilley come November.