CONCORD, N.H. -- Two prominent New Hampshire Republicans said, when contacted, that they do not plan to endorse anyone for president ahead of the state's presidential primary next month.
State Senator Bob Odell and longtime Executive Councilor Ray Burton both represent largely rural areas and have been re-elected at large margins.
Odell is a close personal friend with US Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, from their years working in Washington. Hagel had flirted with a presidential run himself and made a handful of trips to New Hampshire that Odell helped organize.
Odell wrote in an email that he has "no plans to endorse a candidate at this time".
Burton, of Bath, is one of the state's most successful politicians and is beloved by his constituents who re-elect him at very high percentages.
When news spread in 2006 that Burton had knowingly hired a repeated sexual offender to be his campaign aide, the governor and all members of the Congressional delegation asked him to resign.
Nonetheless John McCain donated money to Burton's campaign and even called Burton two weeks ago asking for his endorsement.
"I told him I loved his book, Faith of out Fathers, and that he's done a great service for our country," Burton said. "But I said, 'Now, I've got two problems with you, Senator. One, I don't like that you want to send more of our men into Iraq. And two, I don't particularly care for you trying to snuggle up to the Jerry Falwell types."
-- Assistant Brian Lawson contributed to this report. His blog on the primary can be read here.