House Republican Leader Reacts to Rules Committee Vote

CONCORD-House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the House Rules committee voting 6-4 to amend House Rules to prohibit the carrying of firearms in Representatives’ Hall.

“Although this is not unexpected, I am extremely disappointed in today’s vote by the Rules Committee to prohibit the carrying of firearms in the House chamber. There are far more pressing issues facing our state than immediately taking away House members’ constitutionally protected right to bear arms. By removing this basic right, we are effectively making the chamber a gun-free zone and less safe environment for our colleagues.”

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House Republican Leader Announces First Leadership Appointments

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released a list of his first appointments to House Republican leadership team today. Hinch was officially appointed Republican (Minority) Leader by newly elected Speaker Shurtleff on Wednesday, and had previously been elected by the House Republican Caucus as their nominee for Speaker on November 29th.

The appointments are as follows:

Deputy House Republican Leader – Rep. Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry)
House Republican Floor Leader – Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry)
Senior Republican Advisor – Rep. Steve Smith (R-Charlestown)
Republican Policy Leader – Rep. Kim Rice (R-Hudson)
Republican Policy Leader – Rep. Jason Osborne (R-Auburn)
Deputy Republican Floor Leader – Rep. Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack)

“These individuals represent a broad spectrum of our caucus, and each bring many years of legislative, personal, and professional experience to our team,” Rep. Hinch said of the appointees. “We will continue building the list of people who will be helping us organize the caucus, working with members, and formulating our message as part of the Republican leadership team. We may not be the majority party, but we have a caucus full of talented and thoughtful leaders,” Hinch offered. More appointments will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

House Republican Leader’s Statement on the Election of Secretary of State

House Republican Leader’s Statement on the Election of Secretary of State

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement on the outcome of the election for Secretary of State, where incumbent Bill Gardner earned a majority of votes of the newly elected New Hampshire House and Senate. The vote was 209-205.

“Republicans stuck together on the vote today to support one of the state’s greatest public servants. The office of Secretary of State is not for sale, and today’s vote demonstrated that a bipartisan majority of legislators rejected Van Ostern’s attempt to turn it into a political trophy.”

House Majority Leader Reacts to Democrats’ Partisan Vote for Secretary of State

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement relative to the House Democratic Caucus’ straw vote on the election of Secretary of State, at which time 179 members voted in support of partisan candidate Colin Van Ostern.

Hinch said, “We find it deeply concerning that a majority of House Democrats chose to support a proven partisan political operative over a lifelong public servant. It’s a sad day in New Hampshire when candidates for the office of Secretary of State should need to raise a campaign war chest, when they are the one who will charged with administering our state campaign finance and election laws. Mr. Van Ostern has raised and spent over $200,000 with over 100 donations from people outside of New Hampshire. We hear a lot about getting money out of politics, but this has injected money and politics in to a non-political office.”

Hinch continued, “Republicans in the House will be standing with and voting for a person who has exhibited fairness and decency throughout his career in public service. Bill Gardner has proven to our state that he can do his job without partisan motivations, and without the need to solicit donations from party activists. Bill has earned our support, and I will be advocating that my Republican colleagues in the legislature vote for him on December 5th. I ask that the members of the Democratic Caucus who did support Sec. Gardner talk with colleagues in their party and help restore sanity to the election for this very important position.”

House Majority Leader’s Statement on Democratic Caucus Nomination of Shurtleff for Speaker

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statement relative to the Democratic House Caucus’ nomination of Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) to be Speaker of the House.

“I congratulate Rep. Shurtleff on his nomination today and wish him well over the coming term. He will certainly have his hands full managing members of his caucus, and their out-of-touch legislative agenda. We’ve already seen some of their bill requests for next year, and it’s clear that the train is off the tracks,” said Hinch, “Elections have consequences, but so will the next two years of policy debates. Republicans won’t stand for repeals of common sense laws we’ve enacted over our time in the majority, nor will we stand for any new taxes or fees, or irresponsible spending. Democrats have a track record of mismanaging the state’s finances, and we intend on making voters very aware of their follies. 2020 has already begun.”