In an ambitious undertaking, the 603 Alliance held private interview sessions on June 29 and 30 for Republican candidates running in the New Hampshire Primary for the US Senate, CD1, CD2, and Gubernatorial seats.
Members of the 603 Alliance, including grassroots leaders and activists from across New Hampshire, met with each candidate separately in an undisclosed conference room in the Concord area, where each interview was conducted by a member of the 603 Alliance Steering Committee, based on the questions submitted by the attendees prior to the session.
The primary objective of this format was for the members to see the candidates in a more relaxed setting, free of the usual stump speeches and prepared comments. In this “give-and-take” conversation, the attendees were able to evaluate each candidate’s character traits, including his or her personal attributes, integrity, and personality. The candidate’s positions on specific issues were also probed.
All of the major candidates in these four races participated. Following the sessions, the attendees responded by completing an evaluation form ranking their impressions for each candidate, based on their performance. The evaluations were then compiled and reviewed by the 603 Alliance Steering Committee.
The results of this summary were thoroughly reviewed and carefully examined to determine their accuracy. The task was complex and difficult; but in the final analysis, there were some clear winners as determined by this group of conservative activists.
The gubernatorial race features four candidates vying for this position — Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, State Senator Jeanie Forrester, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, and State Representative Fred Edelblut. Ted Gatsas scored high marks for the work he has done as Mayor of New Hampshire’s largest town, Manchester. Jeanie Forrester’s work in the New Hampshire Senate has earned her much praise, and Executive Councilor Chris Sununu is well-liked for many of his positions, including his stance on repealing Obamacare. However, the candidate who scored highest in all categories was Representative Frank Edelblut. Representative Edelblut was most closely aligned to the principles of limited government that the 603 Alliance holds in high regard.
The 603 Alliance has voted to endorse Frank Edelblut for the Gubernatorial race in New Hampshire.
In the primary race for the U.S. Senate seat, the candidates being interviewed were the incumbent, sitting Senator Kelly Ayotte, and her challenger, former State Senator, Jim Rubens. The analysis of the interviews for both Ayotte and Rubens was very different. Senator Ayotte’s scores reflect the disappointment that many conservatives expressed for her positions during her term in the Senate. Senator Rubens record is strong in several areas reflecting his term in the NH Senate; but there are also areas where grassroots activists differ from him on several issues, including the causes of global warming. Although the 603 Alliance is not currently endorsing either candidate, the group favors Senator Rubens due to his closer alignment with the principles of limited government.
As with the Senate race, each of the Congressional Districts featured two major candidates, and those were included in the interview process.
For CD2, interviews were conducted for Representative Jack Flanagan and Representative Jim Lawrence. During these intimate interview sessions, the contrast between these two candidates was quite clear. The scores recorded for Jim Lawrence far exceeded those for Jack Flanagan. Therefore, the 603 Alliance will endorse Jim Lawrence for CD2.
The remaining race, CD1, was the most difficult to determine. Long discussions and much analysis were required to come to a decision. In fact, the ratings were very close and it was a tough call to make. Both Rich Ashooh and Frank Guinta possess fine attributes that make either of them excellent candidates for the office of U.S. Congress. In fact, each of these candidates scored as high as, or higher than, any of the ten candidates interviewed. After much discussion, the 603 Alliance is favoring Congressman Frank Guinta and will be supporting him in this race.
The 603 Alliance understands its commitment to the principles on which the Alliance is founded and has made these calls accordingly. We trust that our decisions will be of some assistance to our members in making their decisions when voting in the Primary Election, but we also urge our members to exercise their own judgments and arrive at their own, best decisions when entering the voting booth on September 13.