Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey said Tuesday that while he wished Rep. Shawn Jasper had not taken on Republican House caucus nominee Rep. Bill O’Brien for the Speaker’s post, he believed that it was not necessary for the state GOP executive committee to pass a resolution censuring Jasper on Monday night.
Duprey was one of nine members of the executive committee who had opposed the resolution, while 17 members voted in favor. See our full report here.
Juliana Bergeron, who is also a member of the RNC from New Hampshire, also opposed the resolution.
“I think the point had been adequately made to Speaker Jasper,” Duprey said Tuesday, “and there really wasn’t that much to be gained in passing a resolution. I respect the fact that some people had a different point of view. It was a very civil discussion. And the resolution has passed and now we move forward.”
The Associated Press reported that about 120 O’Brien supporters today caucused again and decided not to recognize the majority leader appointed by Jasper, who had been elected over O’Brien on Dec. 3 with mostly Democratic support.
Jasper will hold an official caucus of House Republicans on Wednesday.
Duprey, who has been a state GOP leader for more than two decades, said he did not know if the passage of the resolution censuring Jasper for overturning the will of the GOP House caucus will end the internal strife.
“Time will tell,” he said. “But from my perspective, the best way to move our Republican agenda forward is to register the resolution, which is going to be delivered, and then it’s over and let’s move forward.”
He said Jasper will face “some challenges” uniting the House Republicans, “but substantively, on issues, there is probably 90 percent agreement among all Republican members. There is unhappiness about not following the will of the Republican caucus, but on substantive issues, I think they are inclined to have a united Republican Party.”
Duprey said he has always supported nominees of the GOP in general election scenarios, and, he said, “I absolutely wish we had elected Bill O’Brien speaker because he was the Republican nominee for Speaker. Absolutely, without a question.
“Shawn Jasper has a fine Republican voting record and I’m sure will do a good job as speaker, but I believe in the primary system. Every single time a Republican has won a primary I have endorsed them and campaigned for them,” Duprey said. “Bill O’Brien should have been elected Speaker by the Republicans, without a question.”