The heads of some of New Hampshire’s conservative organizations are beginning to speak out against Gov. John Lynch’s controversial nomination of former Manchester Central High principal John Rist to serve on the state’s Board of Education.
The Rist nomination is seen as overly political by some. His wife is Kathy Sullivan, a controversial political figure who has personally attacked virtually every Republican in the state, let alone on the Executive Council, the body that would need to approve the appointment.
Sullivan has started an organization that collects money that she does not need to report to election officials to attack Republicans, including those on the Executive Council.
“The appointment of Rist to the state board of education is another example of Gov. Lynch putting politics ahead of students,” said Andrew Hemingway, who heads up the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “Whether burying the future generation in debt or lowering academic standards Gov. Lynch has once again paid a political favor that leaves the students of NH holding the tab.”
“While Mr. Rist may be qualified to serve on the State Board of Education, it is somewhat surprising that Governor Lynch would choose such a highly politicized nominee for this high-profile position,” Kevin Smith told NH Journal. “It’s as if the Governor believes that his recent poll numbers make him bullet proof in the arena of public perception.”
Smith runs Cornerstone Policy Research, a conservative think tank and activist organization.
“Having been intimately involved in the nominating process under Gov. Benson, we made sure not to offer overly politicized nominees in order to best honor the interests of the people,” Smith continued. “Governor Lynch would be well-advised to do the same. In this case, he now leaves the Council with the additional burden of not only vetting the nominee but trying to minimize the effects of the political nature of his action.”
No Republicans on the Executive Council have addressed Rist’s controversial nomination publicly as of the filing of this story.