CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — After suffering significant losses in this month’s election, New Hampshire’s Republican Party will start the new year with a new leader.
Republicans will elect party officers Jan. 26 and, so far, former congressional candidate Jennifer Horn appears to be well positioned to replace Chairman Wayne MacDonald, who is not seeking another term.
Horn, of Nashua, was the 2008 GOP nominee in the 2nd Congressional District before losing to Democrat Paul Hodes. She ran again in 2010, losing the Republican primary to Charles Bass, the eventual winner.
On Wednesday, Bass was included on a long list of prominent Republican lawmakers and activists backing Horn to be party leader, along with U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Rep. Frank Guinta.
‘‘I am running to unify Republicans and to lay the groundwork for a vibrant, robust party,’’ Horn said. ‘‘We will unite behind our core principles of lower taxes, less spending, and personal freedom. And when the Democrats inevitably over-reach, we'll hold them accountable.’’
Horn, a former radio talk show host and newspaper columnist, heads We the People, a nonprofit that aims to increase civic engagement and educate the public about limited government, personal responsibility and other principles.
GOP Vice Chairman Cliff Hurst also has said he was thinking of seeking the chairman position. He did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday.
MacDonald has been party chairman since September of last year, when former chairman Jack Kimball resigned moments before GOP leaders were expected to remove him. A former tea party leader, Kimball had come under scrutiny for lackluster fundraising and special election losses.
Bass and Guinta were defeated in the November elections, which saw Democrats claim the governor’s office, both congressional seats and a majority in the state House of Representatives.
Though Democrats won the top races, they actually make up a smaller percentage of the electorate than they did four years ago. According to the secretary of state’s office, Republicans now make up 30 percent of registered voters and Democrats account for just under 28 percent. Undeclared voters make up the rest.
The latest figures show Republicans with a roughly 23,000 person advantage in voter registration. In 2008, Democrats had about 2,000 more registered voters than Republicans.