Is Frank Guinta running for Governor?
We all know the race to fill the soon-to-be-vacant Corner Office of the State House includes Ovide Lamontagne, Maggie Hassan and then everyone else, right? The accepted wisdom is that these two are the Republican and Democratic frontrunners, respectively and that each will face at least one insurgent opponent of unknown and untested strength. But what if that accepted wisdom is totally wrong and in a few weeks time everything looks different.
In my experience, the opportunity for a major political figure to serve as Governor of a state comes along very rarely. Most political figures never get the right chance, and for those rare few, it’s often a one-and-done chance of a lifetime. And as some have pointed out, the position of New Hampshire Governor has been open only three times in the last twenty years.
Kevin Landrigan includes one name in his Sunday column I hadn’t really considered in my armchair ruminations on the matter: Congressman Frank Guinta.
Nah, I thought. Everyone knows Frank enjoys Washington and loves being in Congress. Why would he want to come back to New Hampshire?
Then I remembered a little side note from all the Jack Kimball drama that itself seems a political lifetime ago. According to John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Guinta had been in negotiations with the Republican Governors Association and believed he had a line on $100,000 from the organization, which exists to elect Republicans to their respective state executive offices.
Why do you suppose Frank Guinta was in discussions with the RGA? I don’t pretend to have any special insights on the matter. Frank may have been doing some aggressive party fundraising that took him to every corner of Washington, DC to help the entire New Hampshire Republican ballot. But it makes me wonder. And I can tell you from watching his career and from person experience: Frank Guinta should not be underestimated.