CONCORD — Ralph DeMicco, owner of Riley’s Sport Shop and vice president of the Gun Owners of New Hampshire, is backing Jim Rubens for the U.S. Senate now that his first choice has dropped out of the race.
Demicco told New Hampshire Journal he initially backed Karen Testerman for the GOP nomination. She left the race last Friday and backed former Sen. Bob Smith, and urged her supporters to do so as well. But Demicco instead chose Rubens.
Rubens Tuesday also announced receiving the endorsements of former Executive Councilor Ruth Griffin and Ed Naille, chairman of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers. Naille is endorsing personally and not on behalf of the group, Rubens said.
Also backing Rubens are former Rep. Donald Andolina of Dover, former state Rep. Paul LaCasse of Claremont, Mike Lorrey of Enfield, Jim Scamman of Stratham, Charles and Judy Shore of Claremont and state Rep. Colette Worsman of Meredith.
Demicco said in an interview that Testerman is “a highly-principled person and stands for all the strong conservative positions on the important issues.” But with her out of the race, he decided to commit to Rubens.
“Bob Smith is an excellent candidate,” Demicco said, “but I believe he’s going to have a difficult time overcoming the stigma of the way he conducted himself toward Republicans.” Smith left the party briefly in 1999 with strong criticism and then returned.
“I like Rubens because on the state level he appears to have never sinned greatly on the Second Amendment and is a pretty good conservative on most of the issues, including most social issues.
“I also like him because he is energetic and makes statements and asserts things,” Demicco said.
“Scott Brown has been very politician-like,” he said. “On the Second Amendment, he’s very noncommittal and talks somewhat in generalities. He would be a good senator but Rubens is bold.”