Members of the State Republican Party had to wait five hours to vote for the position of Republican National Committeewoman to replace retiring Committeewoman Phyllis Woods, the only hotly contested election on Saturday.
When the dust settled, Juliana Bergeron squeaked by Pam Tucker, the Deputy Speaker in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, by a five vote margin 175-170.
The race between Bergeron and Tucker had been getting nasty in the days leading up to Saturday’s vote with Tucker and her surrogates calling Bergeron a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”) though they couldn’t point to anything specific in Bergeron’s record to support their allegations.
Meanwhile, the National Organization for Marriage ran full-page advertisements in the four top daily newspapers in New Hampshire on Friday listing Rep. Pam Tucker, along with 86 other Representatives, as having “betrayed” Republicans and “abandoning marriage” for voting against repealing gay marriage on March 21. The Republican Party platform has an entire section devoted to “protecting marriage and family” and “marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman.”
Tucker and her supporters frantically tried to claim that she was, in fact, against gay marriage. However, she had problems supporting her argument having voted against a committee amendment supporting the repeal on the one roll call vote she participated in before leaving the State House in the middle of the debate to volunteer for a Lenten service.
Tucker supporters remained bitter following the vote as they continue to send emails around to Republican activists alleging Bergeron’s lack of passion for conservative issues.
Republicans are hoping that time will heal these most recent wounds in a year in which they have the best chance of winning back the Corner Office in Concord.
Just before the Committeewoman vote, Skip Murphy made a last ditch attempt to unseat Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey who had no official challenge until Murphy’s nomination from the floor. Duprey won handily with Murphy picking up only 68 votes.
Earlier in the day, Republican Party members made several bylaw changes. The first change was a reaction to the ousting of former Republican Party Chairman Jack Kimball who had been removed by the Executive Committee of the Republican Party last year.
The bylaws will now require a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee to remove an officer rather than a simple majority, as was necessary to remove Kimball.
New Hampshire Republican will now begin preparing for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida from August 27 through August 30.