Marilinda Garcia: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45






State Representative Marilinda Garcia (R-NH), 29, is seeking re-election to her fourth term, but is devoting most of her time to Young Americans for Romney and the campaign’s Hispanic outreach efforts. She is an honors graduate of Tufts University and has a Master’s from Harvard.
Garcia has traveled and played with a world-famous orchestra, and serves as an adjunct professor at a local college and at Phillips Exeter Academy. Two of her initiatives to cut regulations and assist entrepreneurs have already been enacted into law.
She says “President Obama does not seem to understand the core of America’s success or how to protect it. Never mind his failed legacy of economic indicators such as 43 straight months of unemployment over 8%, a budget that would require $1.9 trillion in new taxes, and no effort to reform unsustainable entitlements. Moreover, I’m afraid I have become bitter in realizing our President is antagonistic to the very essence of the American way and insulting to our collective experience.
“Obama demeans our American dreamers, our small business owners, like my father, telling them ‘they didn’t build that.’ He condescends to those like my uncle, proud of his military service and protective of 2nd amendment rights, and my mother who supports charity endeavors due to her strong faith because they ‘cling to guns and religion.’
“He panders to foreign political foes and insults allies by offhandedly assuring ‘more flexibility after my re-election.’ He negates the economic recovery work of state officials by crushing them with unaffordable new mandates.
“He lies that with Obamacare ‘the middle-class won’t see their taxes increase by a single dime.’ The American way is no longer recognizable. . .
“We deserve better. Please just leave us alone, President Obama. We know how to fix this without your kind of leadership, and will show you how when we elect Mitt Romney. And, yes, we can.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Kelly Ayotte: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Kelly Ayotte

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) previously served as state Attorney General from 2004 to 2009. Ayotte, 43, defeated liberal Rep. Paul Hodes (D) in the 2010 general election and is a member of the Armed Services Committee.
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

New Hampshire Primary: GOP Expected to Sweep All Federal Offices

New Hampshire Republicans finally appear to be united. U.S. Senate nominee Kelly Ayotte is shown with two of her defeated primary rivals, Jim Bender and Ovide Lamontagne.

Ovide Lamontagne conceded the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate at 4:30 pm on Wednesday afternoon. He could have requested a recount because the race was so close, but he instead endorsed former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte. She won by 1,667 votes, and outspent Lamontagne by a 4 to 1 margin. She now faces Congressman Paul Hodes (D) in the race to replace retiring Senator Judd Gregg (R). Continue reading

The Verdict: Surprising GOP Primary Results in Delaware, New Hampshire and Maryland


The big upset of last night was when conservative insurgent Christine O’Donnell defeated Congressman Mike Castle by a 53% to 47% margin. The loss was the first in the career of the 72-year-old Castle, who has been Delaware’s lone representative in Congress since 1993. O’Donnell claimed victory at the Elks Lodge in Dover, and thanked the two people people who endorsed her in the final weekend, former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). When Palin made her endorsement few observers were expecting O’Donnell to win the primary, and no one can accuse Palin of not taking risks. O’Donnell did not mention Congressman Castle in her victory remarks. Hours later the Congressman said he would not endorse or support O’Donnell. He did not indicate if he would endorse Democrat Chris Coons. Castle said he would not run as a write-in candidate in the general election. Continue reading

Battleground New Hampshire: GOP Leads in Senate and House Races


Dr. Katrina Swett is the wife and daughter of former Democratic congressmen. She was long viewed as the front runner, but now the momentum has shifted to her liberal primary opponent. It is further evidence that moderates have a bleak future in the Democratic Party.

The past six years have been brutal for the Republican Party of New Hampshire. There was a significant shift in favor of the Democrats, and in the U.S. House of Representatives, not even one Republican was elected from the six New England states. The collapse was not envisioned when Sen. Judd Gregg (R) began his final reelection campaign in 2004. Gregg was then Chairman of the Budget Committee and the GOP controlled the U.S. House and Senate.
In the Granite State, Republicans held the governorship, the entire Congressional delegation, super-majorities in both houses of the legislature, and every member of the Executive Council. The setbacks began in 2004 and there were few bright spots until this year. Now the GOP is firmly on the comeback trail.
They are expected to retain Gregg’s U.S. Senate seat, and they could well capture both New Hampshire seats in the House of Representatives. The Democratic Governor will probably be re-elected, but the race is much closer than it was a few months ago.
Background: 2004, 2006 and 2008 – The Great GOP Decline
Republicans have endured three cycles of disappointing elections. In 2004, John Kerry defeated George W. Bush by 50% to 49%. At the same time, anti-tax Gov. Craig Benson (R) lost to millionaire businessman John Lynch (D) by a 51% to 49% margin. Also in 2004, Rep. Charles Bass (R) was re-elected by 58% when he defeated attorney Paul Hodes (D).
In 2006, both of the state’s GOP Congressmen were defeated. Anti-war activist Carol Shea-Porter (D) scored one of the biggest upsets in the nation by retiring moderate Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) in the first district.
The second district featured a re-match. This time Paul Hodes (D) ousted 12 year GOP incumbent Charles Bass. Hodes frequently spoke of his opposition to the USAPatriot Act, and said Republicans had treated the constitution like a piece of paper: “As your congressman I pledge to stand up, to protect and defend the constitution of the US and to safeguard the civil liberties of this great country.”
In 2008, Obama defeated McCain by 9% in New Hampshire, both Democratic Congressmen were re-elected, and in a major blow for the GOP, Sen. John Sununu (R) was defeated by former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D), who received 52% of the vote. The polls had Sununu leading until the Wall Street meltdown in September of 2008.
Open U.S. Senate Seat – Democrat Paul Hodes and Republicans Kelly Ayotte, Bill Binnie, Jim Bender and Ovide Lamontagne
Senator Judd Gregg (R), who declined President Obama’s offer to serve as Secretary of Commerce, is retiring after three terms. In the most recent Rasmussen Poll, all four GOP candidates are defeating Democratic nominee Paul Hodes in a general election. The primary is on September 14th, and every Republican candidate is describing themselves as a conservative.

Former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte with Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

Former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) is considered the frontrunner and has had a consistent lead in the polls. The race was expected to be much closer at this point.
The real challenge for Ayotte is the GOP primary. Ayotte, 42, is the choice of regular Republicans, but candidates identified with the GOP establishment have been defeated or withdrew this year in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada and Utah. Colorado and Alaska may soon be added to this list.
Ayotte was appointed Attorney General in 2004 and resigned in 2009 when she began her Senate campaign. She has never faced an election. The state’s largest newspaper, the conservative New Hampshire Union Leader, named her its 2008 “Citizen of the Year.”
Ayotte has been endorsed by Senators Judd Gregg and John McCain (R-AZ), former Sen. Warren Rudman (NH) and former GOP Gov. Steve Merrill (1992 – 1996). She has spoken of her opposition to the stimulus, Obamacare, earmarks and the Elena Kagan nomination to the Supreme Court.
The most serious challenger to Ayotte is Bill Binnie, who already has a $600,000 fundraising advantage. Binnie, 52, is the President of Carlisle Capital Corporation. He has a Harvard MBA and at 32 was the youngest CEO on the New York Stock Exchange.
He is pro-choice and as a legal immigrant from Scotland at the age of five, favors a path to legal immigration. He has twice won the famed auto race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Binnie’s campaign is being assisted by over $3 million in personal loans from the candidate.
Also in the race is Ovide Lamontagne, an attorney, who served as Chairman of the State Board of Education from 1993-1996. He was the 1996 GOP gubernatorial candidate and was defeated by Jeanne Shaheen by a 57% to 40% margin. He has been endorsed by former Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-NH). The final candidate is businessman Jim Bender. He also has an MBA from Harvard raised an impressive $600,000 in the last quarter.
Democrat Hodes has raised more than $1 million inside New Hampshire and is expected to beat Shaheen’s 2008 fundraising performance.
First Congressional District:
In the first district, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) has a fundraising edge but is running slightly behind in the polls. She won this seat in 2006 by defeating moderate Rep. Jeb Bradley (R). The Congresswoman received a little over 51% of the vote in 2006, and a little under 52% in 2008.
She first achieved prominence in 2005 for her activities in opposition to the Iraq War. The Congresswoman is now a firm opponent of President Obama’s Afghan surge. She is also one of the most anti-defense members of the Armed Services Committee.
She received national attention last summer when she refused to hold town hall meetings during the August recess. This was ironic because in the years leading up to the 2006 campaign, she hounded then Congressman Bradley at his town hall meetings.
Shea-Porter was once forcibly removed from a gathering in Portsmouth for aggressive protesting. The speaker was President George W. Bush, and she was wearing a shirt that read, “Turn your back on Bush.”
She always said the Iraq surge would fail, and once protested in front of the State House in Concord alongside demonstrators who compared Bush to a Nazi. Rep. Shea-Porter attended more of her opponents town hall meetings as a candidate than she has held during her four years in Congress.
Fox News placed her photo on a milk carton last summer to dramatize her failure to meet with constituents at public gatherings during the recess. The Congresswoman did find time to visit Pittsburgh, PA for the Daily Kos/Netroots Nation convention of liberal bloggers.
She told them her constituents “would love to wait in line for medical care.” Shea-Porter has a 38% favorable, and a 37% unfavorable rating.
In the GOP primary, the two leading candidates are former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, 39, and newspaper publisher Sean Mahoney. Mahoney, 44, previously served as the state’s Republican National Committeeman, and was endorsed by the current Manchester Mayor, Ted Gatsas. The political rating agencies list this seat as “Leaning Republican.”
Second Congressional District
This is the district Congressman Hodes is vacating. Former Rep. Charles Bass (R), who was defeated by Hodes four years ago, is attempting a comeback and has outdistanced his primary contenders in fundraising.
He is regarded as the frontrunner and the political rating agencies are also listing this seat as “Leaning Republican.” Bass is being challenged in the primary by former State Rep. Bob Giuda and the 2008 nominee, Jennifer Horn.
The most interesting contest is the Democratic primary. Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett has $1.2 million in cash on hand, and when she sought this seat in 2002, she raised $1.6 million. She would be a strong candidate for the Democrats, but will probably lose the nomination to “progressive community activist” Ann McLane Kuster, who has $735,000 in cash on hand.
Kuster, 54, an attorney, was a Co-Chairman of the New Hampshire Obama campaign, and is definitely more liberal than Swett. The Democratic candidates disagree on the Afghan surge, nuclear power and gay marriage. Swett supports civil unions while Kuster is for “marriage equality.” The divide between moderate and liberal Democrats was emphasized in a 2007 article about Swett in the Concord Monitor:

Swett believes Sen. Joseph Lieberman (CT) lost the 2004 presidential nomination because of three perceived Democratic “sins”: the sin of supporting the Iraq war and being tough on defense, the sin of being bipartisan and the sin of displaying religious faith. Swett said those traits might make Lieberman undesirable to many Democrats but they could be key for Democrats in winning future national elections.

Swett, 55, is the mother of seven children. She is on the faculty at Tufts University, and previously served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is a Yale graduate, an attorney, and has a doctorate in history.
Her husband is the district’s former Congressman and he came close to being elected to the U.S. Senate. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to Denmark.
Her father is the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), who was Chairman of the House International Relations Committee at the time of his death in February of 2008. Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to have served in Congress. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush.
The liberals have good reasons to oppose Swett. She was a National Co-Chair of the Joe Lieberman for President Committee in 2004. She also endorsed Lieberman for re-election to the Senate in 2006 after he was defeated in the Democratic Primary.
Lieberman lost to Ned Lamont, who Swett described as a “pretty-far-left-of-center-Democrat.” Lamont is expected to be elected Governor of Connecticut this November.
The influential liberal website BlueHampshire has endorsed Kuster and says: “If Swett wins the nomination, a truly Herculean effort will be required for the Democratic base to come together.” In reviewing this race, liberal activist Howard Klein of Blue America says:

One has to wonder why Katrina hasn’t officially joined the Republican Party. She instead, keeps trying to get into office as a Democrat so she can vote with them across the aisle. Swett and other similar faux-Democrats who support Lieberman, also support Big Insurance over American working families. They support aggressive wars overseas.



The 2010 Battleground: New Hampshire’s 1st District

One of the major battlegrounds in the 2010 campaign will be New Hampshire’s first congressional district where Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta is the GOP challenger against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH). Despite numerous public demands the incumbent has refused to hold town hall meetings during the August recess. She was a vocal anti-war activist before winning her seat in 2006, and essentially hounded then-Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) at his town hall meetings in the years leading up to their race.
Shea-Porter was once forcibly removed from a Bush speech in Portsmouth for aggressive protesting while wearing a shirt that read, “Turn your back on Bush.” She always said the surge would fail, and once protested in front of the State House in Concord alongside demonstrators who compared Bush to a Nazi. She attended more of her opponents town hall meetings as a candidate than she has held during four years in Congress.
Mayor Guinta is now holding the Health Care Town Hall meeting that the incumbent has refused. Fox News placed her photo on a milk carton to dramatize the fact that she is not meeting with her constituents at public gatherings during the recess. She did find time this month to visit Pittsburgh, PA for the Daily Kos/Netroots Nation convention of liberal bloggers. She told them her constituents “would love to wait in line for medical care.” Shea-Porter has a 38% favorable, and a 37% unfavorable rating. She is vulnerable. Guinta, 38, has served two terms as Mayor and has won in the most Democratic part of the District.