PLAISTOW, N.H. -- Ron Paul said the decision to exclude him from a debate on Fox News Sunday the weekend before the New Hampshire Primary is proof that the network "is scared" of him.
"They are scared of me and don't want my message to get out, but it will," Paul said in an interview at a diner here. "They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative."
Paul's staff said they are beginning to plan a rally that will take place at the same time the 90-minute debate will air on television. It will be taped at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown.
"They will not win this skirmish," he promised.
The Fox debate occurs less than 24 hours after two back to back Republican and Democratic debates on the same campus sponsored by ABC News, WMUR-TV and the social networking website Facebook.
Paul, the Republican Texas Congressman, was wrapping up his final day of campaigning in New Hampshire until the Iowa Caucuses on Thursday.
He spent much of the day campaigning at diners in Manchester and Plaistow and downtown walks in Derry and Exeter.
CONCORD, N.H. -- Former New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith endorsed California Congressman's Duncan Hunter presidential campaign today in a blog post.
Smith represented New Hampshire in the US House for six years and then in the US Senate for 12 years before being defeated in a Republican primary by John E. Sununu.
He now lives in Sarasota, Fla. where he sells real estate.
Primary Source assistant Brian Lawson first spotted the blog post.
CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association will soon publicly endorse Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mike Huckabee for their respective party's nomination for president, the organization tells the Globe.
The news first appeared on MSNBC's First Read blog.
This is the first time the 16,000 member chapter has ever endorsed a Republican.
The chapter plans a big announcement tomorrow in Manchester, possibly with Senator Hillary Clinton there. A separate event for Huckabee has not been put together.
Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo named to state Representatives as his honorary New Hampshire chairman today.
Republican State Representatives Dan Itse of Fremont and Jordan Ulery of Hudson have both been known for being sponsors on immigration legislation in the state house.
Fred Thompson will return to New Hampshire the day after Thanksgiving to attend two events in the Republican rich Lakes Region.
The visit marks the fourth time he has been to the state since he announced his candidacy in September.
Two recent polls show Thompson dropping to sixth place among Republicans in New Hampshire.
DURHAM, N.H. -- Texas Congressman Ron Paul said he is "not interested" in a third party run for president if he is unable to win the Republican presidential nomination next year.
"I have no intention of doing that," Paul told local reporters. "This country is not very democratic and only allows for two parties."
In 1988, Paul ran for president as the nominee for the Libertarian Party. He said that experience showed him a third party run would be futile.
On Friday afternoon Paul spoke to 350 students at the University of New Hampshire, one of the largest audiences a presidential candidates has received on this campus.
Rebecca Romanoski, a UNH student who grew up in Newton, N.H., said she came to see Paul because she heard he was a bit of a "radical". But she was turned off after hearing Paul say he would do very little to address global warming.
In the question and answer period Paul encouraged students to be "contrarians" about global warming and said the federal government really didn't have a role to address the problem anyway.
On Wednesday afternoon Fred Thompson's presidential campaign canceled a trip to New Hampshire scheduled for Friday.
The campaign has not given an explaination as to why.
During his trip Thompson was to headline a fund-raiser for Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta Friday morning in a downtown hotel.
Guinta said he was "disappointed" that the fund-raiser wouldn't happen, but he was understanding.
"In presidential politics I understand that things can come up and schedules can change," said Guinta. "I was hoping he would get a chance to meet more New Hampshire voters."
Guinta said that after showing Thompson around Manchester in early September the Thompson campaign offered to hold a fund-raiser for Guinta. When the Thompson campaign called it off they offered to hold another fund-raiser at a later date.
Guinta said he wasn't sure exactly why the trip was called off.
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- There are five presidential candidates in New Hampshire today, but few will be like a rally for Ron Paul.
At a large downtown park in Manchester about 250 people from several states gathered to hear Paul, meet 30 members of his family, and even sing a long to the official campaign song.
Mitt Romney's campaign is known for using his large family to aid in the campaingn, but Dr. Paul has five children, 18 grand-children and one great-grandchild of his own.
While introducing his father, Rand Paul, a Kentucky physician, pretended to take a phone call.
"Oh Rudy Giuliani how are you," Paul joked. "Oh what's that? You don't have any members of your family who want to campaign for you and you want to borrow ours?"
When Paul took the stage he was not speaking to a typical Republican audience. When he mentioned President Bush the crowd booed. The biggest applause lines were ones against the Patriot Act and, believe it or not, for eliminating the Federal Reserve.
After the rally his family members and supporters began to canvass neighborhoods on Paul's behalf.
Paul also held campaign stops in Henniker and Hanover.
HANOVER, N.H. -- Tonight might feature all Democrats running for president on one stage in New Hampshire, but the Republican National Committee is hoping New Hampshire voters will join them for a little game.
The RNC has bought ads on 39 websites inviting visitors to play an interactive game “Show of Hands,” which quizzes users on the Democratic candidates’ records.
You can see the game here.
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Ron Paul won a low turnout Republican straw poll on Sunday, finishing way ahead of his Republican rivals.
No major campaign tried to compete in the poll hosted by the Manchester Republican Committee.
Here were the results:
Ron Paul 114
Fred Thompson 17
Rudy Giuliani 16
Mike Huckabee 16
Mitt Romney 5
Tom Tancredo 3
John McCain 2
Sam Brownback 1
From Primary Source assistant Brian Lawson in the press room:
DURHAM, N.H. -- Manchester resident and four time presidential candidate Robert Haines was removed from the Republican debate's press filing center in Durham.
Wearing a cowboy outfit he was seen giving a thumbs-up as he was forcefully removed from the room.
University of New Hampshire campus security and Durham police initially questioned Haines. When it became apparent that he would not leave, two officers forcefully removed him.
Haines returned to the center about 10 minutes later. He was again escorted outside by security.
He has filed to run as a Republican presidential candidate in New Hampshire since 1996 and he says he intends to this time as well.
Yesterday he sent a press released with the headline "Are there reasons why Robert Haines should not be in the Presidential Debates?"
In a memo written almost exactly eight years ago, an adviser to then Senator Fred Thompson briefed staff on a recent trip Thompson made to New Hampshire on behalf of John McCain.
The memo, which can be found among Thompson's papers stored at the University of Tennessee, was provided to the Globe by a rival campaign with the intention of pointing out that while Thompson advisers thought they were savvy about New Hampshire back then they are skipping tonight's Fox News debate in New Hampshire and preferring to do the Jay Leno Show instead.
The memo can be read here: Download file. In it Bob D (who might be 1996 Thompson Campaign Manager Bob Davis) says that "folks in New Hampshire recognized [Thompson] at every event".
The writer went on to brashly declare "I believe we can offer suggestions to McCain's campaign team on how to improve on retail campaigning. They haven't asked, and I don't know if we need to offer, but just something for us to possibly suggest".
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Saturday afternoon, saying he didn’t put in the years of preparing for the race that was necessary.
“I have come to believe that it takes more than a positive vision for our nation's future to successfully compete for the Presidency,” Gilmore said in a statement. “I believe that it takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure to contest what now amounts to a one-day national primary in February.”
Gilmore’s withdrawal from the race comes a day before campaign finance records of the last three months are due to be released. As Gilmore mentioned, some believe that with over 20 states moving their presidential primaries to Feb. 5 it will take more money than ever for a presidential candidate to be competitive.
Practically speaking, his departure will have little effect on the race for president. Besides appearing at a June debate, he only campaigned once in New Hampshire. Polling showed he had a hard time getting even one percent, and his fund-raising fell drastically behind his opponents'.
In the last several weeks Gilmore had suspended his campaign “indefinitely” while he recovered from eye surgery.
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- On his first day of testing the waters in New Hampshire, Fred Thompson talked about instant background checks at a gun shop in Hooksett and ordered a tuna sandwich at a Manchester diner.
For the most part, Thompson traveled with an entourage that could sit around a small table at the Merrimack Diner for lunch. His conversations with those he met were breezy. He would say a few words to each person and quickly move on.
Former US Senator John Durkin, a Democrat, also shared a few words with Thompson. The pair worked together when Durkin was in the Senate and Thompson was a Senate staffer.
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Former Senator and Hollywood star Fred Thompson was greeted by 25 conservative activists and legislators at a private airport in Manchester this morning as he arrived for his first visit to New Hampshire as a potential presidential candidate.
Earlier in the month, Thompson filed papers to form a presidential exploratory committee, and he could become an official candidate as early as next week.
In his first interview in the state, Thompson told the Globe he was using his day in New Hampshire to continue to explore a presidential run.
"Still testing the waters and not making any announcements here today," said Thompson. "I just want to get reacquainted with some old friends here and meet some new ones."
One of those new friends he is hoping to make is state Representative Andrew Renzullo, a Hudson Republican.
"Republicans are aching for a real conservative to get in this race," said Renzullo.
Thompson traveled to the Granite State to appear at a fundraiser later today at the Wayfarer in Bedford for the New Hampshire state Senate Republican Political Action Committee. Senate Minority Leader Ted Gatsas arranged for Thompson to attend; a private reception with Thompson costs $500 per ticket and the general reception is $50 a person.
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Texas Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul said he did not compare a New Hampshire couple who refuses to pay taxes with Gandhi.
On Fox News Channel today, Paul said he doesn't know much about the case of Ed and Elaine Brown on Plainfield, N.H. but that he, like Ghandi, doesn't believe in violence to protest wrongs and it has appeared that the Browns have chosen another path.
His comments on Fox News were consistent with what he said in an interview with the Globe during his first visit to New Hampshire in the winter.
The Browns are currently holed up in their residence surrounded by US Marshalls. They said they will either die or go free, but say they will not pay their taxes because they believe their are unconstitutional.
The Associated Press put up a report on from rougegovernment.com that quoted Paul as saying the Browns were like Gandhi.
A New Hampshire organization and a possible trip to the state are being put together should “Law and Order” TV star Fred Thompson enter the Republican presidential race.
On a conference call with 100 supporters yesterday, Thompson said he would file papers next week to form a presidential exploratory committee and possibly formally enter the race in July.
The only person from New Hampshire on that call, Sam Pimm, a Republican consultant, said he is helping to coordinate the campaign in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.
“He is the conservative that people like me have been waiting for,” Pimm said.
A trip to the state is being put together for sometime in late June.
LACONIA, N.H. -- Last week, Mitt Romney began airing a new TV ad touting his conservative successes in what he calls the "toughest" of environments: Massachusetts, the largely Democratic state he led for four years. The first frames of the ad display grainy images of the Republicans' stock Bay State bogeymen -- Kennedy, Kerry, and Dukakis.
But campaigning today in New Hampshire, Romney acknowledged that he actually liked Democrats, had worked well with them as governor, and that that they love their country, too. Speaking to business leaders in Rochester, and then to high schoolers in Alton, Romney explained that much of what he accomplished in Massachusetts was done with the cooperation of Democratic leaders in the Legislature.
"I hate to admit," Romney told students at Prospect Mountain High School in Alton, "that I got good training and it actually worked out pretty well."
He's speaking now at an "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meeting in Laconia, stressing the same theme of bipartisanship.
"We've found in state after state that Democrats and Republicans can get along and get the job done," he said.
This is the same Romney who loves to pillory Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton before conservative audiences?
Look for Romney to face this issue again and again: Can he appeal to Republican primary voters and also appeal to independents and (if he's lucky) general election voters who want a less partisan atmosphere in Washington?
As he considers a run for the White House, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has been invited to speak to an influential group of New Hampshire conservatives the day before fellow Republicans debate in the state.
Thompson has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire Reagan Network dinner on June 4.
The organizer of the event, state Representative Fran Wendelboe, said Thompson hasn’t yet responded. Around the time of the Republican debate in California earlier this month, Thompson spoke to a group of Republican activists near the debate site.
Former New Hampshire state Representative Barbara Hagan of Manchester has endorsed Texas Congressman Ron Paul's presidential campaign and will organize outreach to the state's anti-abortion community.
Hagan, a Republican, served two terms in the House before being defeated last fall when Democrats took control of the state house.
Former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson will visit New Hampshire next week on what will be only his second trip to the state since becoming a presidential candidate.
Thompson will be the guest speaker at a Politics and Eggs breakfast in Bedford sponsored by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Political Library.
The breakfast is on May 8.
Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is calling around to former senior staffers of his presidential campaigns in New Hampshire, telling them they should get to know fellow Tennessean Fred Thompson.
Since Thompson, the actor and former senator, said he was thinking about a run for president, national polls have shown him running in second place for the Republican nomination, trailing only former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Two former staffers confirmed to the Globe they have talked to Alexander. Thompson has yet to make any calls to the state, but Alexander is encouraging his former supporters to “keep their powder dry.”
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson said in an interview with Fox News Channel today he doesn't "crave" the presidency and implied that he would not be as visible on the campaign trail as others if he decided to run for president.
Thompson appeared in the rare interview today due to his announcement that he had lymphoma. The fact he announced his health condition and granted the interview is a significant sign that he is at least thinking of running.
He said he has a deadline for a decision to be made, but he wouldn't say what it was.
Asked if he was going to start behind other Republican candidates in terms of organization and fund-raising he dismissed that has "old book" thinking.
He said that he doesn't necessarily believe a presidential candidate needs to be on the road as often as they are.
"I don’t think it has to be done that way," said Thompson.
Polls have shown a hunger for a candidate like Thompson, who Republicans see as a true conservative.
HUDSON, N.H. -- During a visit to a gun store, Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo was asked by a reporter what he would do to make sure his vice presidential candidate had better aim than Dick Cheney. Cheney accidentally shot his friend last year on a hunting trip.
“It is a good question and I really haven’t thought about it,” said Tancredo, a Colorado Congressman. “I think maybe we should have a skeet shooting contest.”
Tancredo formally declared he was in the presidential race on Monday.
After visiting the gun store, he was scheduled to visit a cigar shop.
US Representative Duncan Hunter, a California congressman and Republican presidential candidate, will not run for re-election to the House, his son and his press secretary told a Capitol Hill newspaper.
Hunter, who served as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, appears to be focused on his presidential race while his son may run for his House seat, The Hill reports.
Hunter is scheduled to campaign in New Hampshire this weekend.
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson has been running for president for the past few months. That's news for many people, since the former Wisconsin governor has yet to campaign outside of Iowa.
That may change soon. Thompson has hired Meridian Communications, a New Hampshire-based political consulting firm, to set up an organization in the state.
Last year Meridian managed the ill-fated campaign of Jim Coburn, who lost to Governor John Lynch by the widest margin ever in a gubernatorial race in New Hampshire.
Following up on a story the Globe first reported, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission asking it look into how Congressman Duncan Hunter might be illegally using his political action committee to aid his presidential campaign.
Several campaign finance experts told the Globe that Hunter's use of his PAC to purchase ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina while he is an announced candidate with a separate campaign committee could be against the spirit of the law.
His campaign contends they are "issue ads" and that while Hunter appears and narrates the ad he never mentions his presidential campaign.
"By leveraging his leadership PAC to advance his ambitions, he has clearly violated federal election law," said Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW. "If Rep. Hunter wants to play in presidential politics, he needs to learn to follow the rules."
Colorado Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, a hardline critic of illegal immigration, yesterday called for the illegal immigrants rounded up in New Bedford last week to be deported.
Tancredo, a conservative whose campaign is defined by the issue of illegal immigration, made his comments at the formal opening of his presidential-campaign office in New Hampshire.
The handling of the raid by federal agents has been protested by many Massachusetts elected officials because parents have been separated from their young children.
"You deport the people that are here illegally," said Tancredo. "Their responsibility is to take care of their children and I am assuming they would take their children with them especially if they are too young to function on their own. At same point of time if that child wants to come back because he is or she is an American citizen they have a right to do so.''
Speaking of the temporarily separated families Tancredo continued to say "My hope is that they will be reunited before they are deported.''
Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo wrapped up a four-day trip to New Hampshire on Monday by opening up his state headquarters in Manchester.
One of the nation's most vocal and prominent opponents of illegal immigration, Tancredo said that if he officially enters the race "it will be to win not just make a statement".
Among those in the audience was state Representative Andrew Renzullo, a Hudson Republican who last year sponsored a bill that would make illegal immigrants guilty of criminal trespass if they were in the state.
Renzullo said he hasn't made up his mind on whom to support for president yet but noted that Tancredo and California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who hold very similar views, may split the vote among those who care about illegal immigration.
"Both drink out of the same fountain," said Renzullo.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican, announced this morning his intention to file the necessary paperwork to run for president.
Paul, a former OB-GYN, visited New Hampshire two weeks ago. At one house party, 150 people reportedly showed up to see him, a number equal that of a house party for Senator Barack Obama.
In 1988 Paul ran for president as a Libertarian.
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, a California congressman, has used his political action committee to run New Hampshire TV ads introducing himself to voters -- in what some specialists say could be a violation of campaign finance laws.
In the ads, Hunter walks beside a giant wire fence and calls for it to be extended along hundreds of miles of the US border with Mexico. Looking into the camera he asks for viewers to "join with me, Duncan Hunter, at Peace Through Strength. Let's make sure Homeland Security builds the border fence."
At the end of the ad, viewers are encouraged to visit the PAC's website, peacethroughstrengthpac.com. If viewers to go to the site a page appears asking them to "please visit Duncan Hunter for President 2008" and providing the link to his homepage, a move that implies the PAC's endorsement, another potential violation of federal law.FULL ENTRY
If you need further proof the narrative that Republicans are still questioning whether or not their presidential front-runners are conservative enough just look at today’s newspapers. The USA Today and The Los Angeles Times give ample space exploring these concerns as they relate to Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
In New Hampshire, the USA Today found many in the state’s North Country didn’t know much about Giuliani beyond how he handled the terrorist attacks in 2001. In South Carolina, the L.A. Times quotes Warren Tompkins, a Romney advisor in South Carolina, as saying Romney is trying to define himself before opponents start labeling him a flip-flopper.
California Congressman Duncan Hunter is the first candidate to pay for television advertising time on New Hampshire airwaves for the 2008 presidential election.
The ad, which began airing on WMUR-TV in Manchester today, shows Hunter in front of a fence on the border with Mexico.
CNN is reporting the ad also airing in Iowa.
Hunter announced in South Carolina Wednesday he is running for president. He will visit New Hampshire on Monday.
Last month, DraftObama.com paid for ads on cheaper cable networks encouraging Illinois Senator Barack Obama to run for president.
Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, a fierce opponent of illegal immigration and a newly-announced Republican presidential candidate, plans to visit the New Hampshire Republican state convention on Saturday even though he was not invited.
While former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is expected to be the only presidential candidate given time to speak to the hundreds of Republican delegates, Tancredo plans to stop by and will hold an event at the Chateau Restaurant in Manchester blocks from the convention.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul is making plans to visit New Hampshire for the first time since filing papers last week to seek the Republican presidential nomination.
Paul will be the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum on Feb. 25. The three-day forum is sponsored by libertarian activists.
In addition to Paul, other speakers include author and 20/20 anchorman John Stossel, 2004 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, national chairman for the Republican Liberty Caucus Bill Westmiller, and CATO Institute director of research Jim Harper.
With just a year before the first presidential primary, likely presidential candidates are busy this week signing up experienced political professionals to help them pursue the White House.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, named David Tille to be his New Hampshire political director. Tille is a highly regarded behind-the-scenes politico in the state. Previously he worked with former Congressman Jeb Bradley and former Senator Bob Smith.
In addition to Tille, Giuliani also named Chris Wood to be his coalitions director. Wood is deeply rooted in the activist community.
In Iowa, the Associated Press reports that former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, also a Republican, has hired an Iowa campaign manager and two other staffers. Thompson continues to visit Iowa once a week, but has yet to visit South Carolina or New Hampshire.
Former New Hampshire congressman Charlie Bass has been named chairman of the Main Street Partnership, a centrist Republican organization.
Bass, who was defeated last fall after serving six terms, now could be an even more important endorsement for a moderate Republican hoping to get the presidential nomination.
In 2000, Charlie Bass supported George W. Bush.
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican, was flying to Manchester on Friday night and will stay in New Hampshire through Monday evening.
Oddly, no one in the state knew about his upcoming trip until Friday afternoon, when he began calling Republican activists before and after he gave a speech on the House floor.
In one of those calls, for an interview with the Globe, Hunter said he wanted his trip to be “low-key.” Hunter told Republicans that he didn’t have much of a schedule at all and that he would pop in unannounced to local Republican leaders and media.
Hunter, 54, is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.
On Friday, an e-mail from Mitt Romney’s sons suggested that whoever the Republican presidential nominee is will have to raise $100 million. Hunter said he wouldn’t need to raise that kind of money because “most of that money goes to pay for consultants that help them look like they are conservative and I am conservative already.”
Hunter has already visited Iowa and South Carolina.
A spokesman for former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, a Republican, said Keating is thinking about running for president and knows the “clock is always ticking” to make a decision soon.
Dan Mahoney, a longtime aide to Keating, said in an interview that Keating only began thinking about running for president when it became apparent that outgoing US Senator George Allen would not be a viable presidential candidate.
“With Allen’s loss in Virginia, he felt a Reagan-like conservative candidate was missing from the mix,” said Mahoney. “That got him to think he could fill that role.”
There is no “definite time table” for Keating to make a decision, but Mahoney said he understands that for fund-raising and getting organized the earlier the decision the better.
Keating was in South Carolina on Wednesday talking with party leaders there about a potential run. South Carolina holds the first Southern primary, which takes place just days after the New Hampshire Primary.
Keating was the governor of Oklahoma during the Oklahoma City bombing.
A former governor and member of President Bush's cabinet will explore a presidential run at the beginning of next year, the Des Moines Register reported Wednesday.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who was the Health and Human Services Secretary during Bush's first term, was in Des Moines to give a speech about health care.
The last time Thompson visited New Hampshire was in 2004 during Bush's re-election campaign.
In 2006, Thompson was rumored to be a candidate for governor again or to possible seek a US Senate seat.
Asked by a reporter if he was running for president, Thompson said, "Why not? I’m from the Midwest. There should be a Midwestern candidate for president."
Maybe Thompson should meet fellow Midwesterners Tom Vilsack, Evan Bayh, Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel and Sam Brownback.
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- With Republican turnout viewed as the key to stop massive Democratic gains here, First Lady Laura Bush headlined a rally aimed at recruiting GOP volunteers.
In what might have been a scary foreshadowing of the evening before halloween, the state party was unable to convene 500 volunteers that the White House wanted for the trip and scaled back to a more reasonable 300.
In the end, the party had to drop a requirement that volunteers had to have worked beforehand to receive tickets to the rally.
The final count of 231 hardly filled an already modest room.
Mrs. Bush's themes were similar to those of her husband's in his recent travels in Georgia and Texas: that Republicans are for winning in Iraq and cutting taxes.
The decision to have Laura Bush campaign in the Granite State instead of her husband makes some sense here where the president's approval rating is below 40 percent.
The trip was largely seen as an attempt to boost incumbent Republican Congressman Charlie Bass who has seen his lead over Democrat Paul Hodes dominish in recent weeks.
California Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican, announced at a press conference that he will begin exploring a presidential bid in 2008.
The announcement from Hunter, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, surprised many involved in presidential politics. He has never expressed any intent to seek higher office. In a few weeks he is expected to win a 14th to the U.S. House.
Hunter, 54, visited New Hampshire a week ago to campaign alongside U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass. During his visit Hunter visited a BAE Systems facility and participated in a spaghetti dinner with Bass and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. His visit to the state, however, was very low key and did not receive any local press coverage.
The Associated Press speculated that one motivation to seeking the presidency could be the fact that Democrats may take the majority in the House, meaning Hunter would lose his position as chairman.
New Hampshire Congressman Jeb Bradley, also a Republican, serves under Hunter on the Armed Services Committee.