Updated: Results are in! Bush ‘wins’ Grafton County GOP tie auction

The results of the Grafton County Republican Committee Tie Auction are in.


When the bidding ended at midnight, Jeb Bush’s tie received the high bid of $355, edging George Pataki’s tie, at $350.


Here are the remainder of the results provided by the organizer, Area 1 NHGOP chair Vicki Schwaegler:


Marco Rubio: $255; Bobby Jindal: $251; Rand Paul: $225; Ted Cruz: $207.50; John Bolton: $203.50; Scott Walker: $202.50; Lindsey Graham: $200; Bob Ehrlich: $150; John Kasich: $150; Rick Perry: $144.50; Donald Trump: $142.50; Ben Carson: $122.50; Mike Huckabee, $91; Jim Gilmore, $76; Carly Fiorina: $76; Rick Santorum; $57.


“It was a great auction,” Schwaegler said. “What surprised me the most was that almost all of the bidders were from Grafton County or associated with the county. I had no idea so many folks would pull together.


“I am so grateful to all of our participants and to those who donated their time, ties/scarf to make this happen,” Schwaegler said. “Everyone got right into the spirit of the event and said they were having a lot of fun participating. To me, that spells success!”


(Our earlier report follows.)


WEDNESDAY, March 25:


It’s not a matter of war and peace. It’s not about immigration reform, the federal deficit or Common Core. It’s not one of the defining issues of our time.


It’s about ties. And one scarf. And it’s about Republican activists in the northern part of what just happens to be the state that holds the first presidential primary in the nation.


The Grafton County Republican Committee is two days away from wrapping up an online auction on eBay of autographed ties by 16 potential and one announced GOP presidential candidates.


It’s a tradition the county committee started many years ago at its dinners, auctioning off the ties of its featured speakers to raise a quick couple of hundred dollars. But this year, said organizer Vicki Schwaegler, “We decided that since it’s the first-in-the-nation centennial, we should make it special for the whole nation. The nation doesn’t know and experience the unique aspects that New Hampshire has. We get the candidates coming into our living rooms and our spaghetti dinners. We see each of them three or four times.”



The county committee web site shows each tie up for auction and links to eBay, where bids are being taken. As of this writing, George Pataki’s tie, the one he wore when he introduced President George W. Bush at the 2004 Republican convention and spoke about the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, is leading the pack, with a bid of $212.50.


Nearly all the candidates’ ties are there, listed in alphabetical order, from Jeb Bush to Scott Walker. There  are no ties from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.



(Update: After our story appeared, the Graham camp said Thursday morning a Graham tie was “on its way to NH!” and apologized for a “miscommunication.” By Thursday evening the Graham tie was on the county web site and part of the auction.)



Schwaelger said she tried to get a Christie tie.  “I tried repeatedly and the answer I got was, ‘We’re trying, we’re trying.’ Toward the end, I said that a press release is going out so we have got to know. When I didn’t hear, I finally sent out the press release, and then they said that because he wasn’t included in the press release, they were not going to give one. I thought that was odd because it takes nothing to get us a tie.”


Neither Perlo nor Schwaegler blamed Matt Mowers, currently the lone New Hampshire operative for Christie’s Super PAC and the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party.



“I am friendly with Matt,” said Perlo. “I love the guy. He did a great job as executive director of the party. We asked him but we just haven’t gotten one.”


“I don’t think it was Matt’s fault,” said Schwaegler. “He did a wonderful job trying to get us a tie. He did the best he could. I don’t think it came from him.”


As for Graham, Schwaegler said she had no direct contact information for him, so she asked his friend, Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey (who is neutral in the primary, by the way) to get her one. “I have no idea why I didn’t get one,” she said. She said she was grateful to Duprey for trying and to other Granite State contacts who helped her gather the candidate ties.



“My bad!” Duprey emailed Thursday morning. “I am having one overnighted to her as a late addition to the auction.” (See update above: A Graham tie is now part of the auction.)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich donated his tie just on Tuesday.


Perlo said, “These folks were very gracious to give us their ties. Some of them were important to them.”


So, where does the auction stand? With Pataki in the lead at least at at the moment, Bush’s tie is going for $141. Ben Carson’s is going for $107.50 and Ted Cruz’s is going for $126.01. The bidding for Rand Paul’s tie stands at $200, and Carly Fiorina’s scarf is at $51. Kasich’s tie is at $150.


And Donald Trump’s? $86.


“I think it’s great,” Schwaegler said. “I love all of the ties, and of course the scarf. They’re in my house right now. I look at them every day and wish I could buy them all.”


Author: John DiStaso

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