Former GOP candidate for governor Walt Havenstein will reemerge on the political/public policy scene on Thursday to help a former congressman and leading foreign policy expert introduce a New Hampshire arm of national group calling on presidential candidates to focus on what it views as a need for a strong U.S. role in world affairs.
Havenstein, the former CEO of BAE Systems and a retired United States Marine, will join with former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan to introduce a New Hampshire Advisory Board for a political group called Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security. He and Rogers will announce a series of forums organized by the group with presidential candidates, to be hosted by UNH-Manchester. It will be the first time Havenstein will be featured at a public event since losing to Gov. Maggie Hassan in the November 2014 election.
The group already is up and running and has an advisory board in first-caucus state Iowa and also plans to be active in South Carolina, which will holds the first-in-the-South presidential primary.
Rogers, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, donated to Havenstein and campaign with him in New Hampshire last fall.
Former US Rep. Mike Rogers
APPS says in its mission statement, “The foreign policy challenges facing the next President of the United States, on day one, will be more complicated than ever before. Understanding the challenges and benefits of American leadership around the globe will be crucial for our next President. National security, international engagement and the U.S. defense posture will have to be dealt with in the first months of the next presidency. With no time for on-the-job-training, a fulsome debate must begin now.”
Rogers told the New York Times last month that his group will support candidates “who understand the importance of engagement.”
While it may be too early in the campaign to speculate on who the group will eventually support, it is noteworthy that the only potential candidate highlighted on APPS’s “news” page of its web site, is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is making a strong, engaged foreign policy a theme of his potential run and has created a PAC called Security Through Strength.