Ken Merrifiled has chosen not to seek a full term as vice chair of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, and in an announcement today will cite his responsibilities as Franklin’s mayor.
Merrifield was named in June to fill the unexpired term of J.P. Marzullo, who had resigned to become a candidate for the state Senate.
In announcing that he won’t seek a full term, Merrifield gave a strong endorsement to party chair Jennifer Horn, should she choose to seek a second term, which appears likely but has not yet been formally announced.
A successor to Merrifield will be elected at the party’s annual state committee meeting in January.
Early speculation is centering on attorney and Merrimack County Republican Chairman Bryan Gould as a candidate for the vice chair position. Gould, a director at the law firm of Cleveland, Waters and Bass in Concord, is a staunch conservative who is well-respected in the party.
Merrifield, in a statement obtained by the New Hampshire Journal, says, “After stepping up last spring to fill the vacant vice chairmanship, I have decided that it is time to refocus my full attention on serving the people of Franklin as their Mayor. As a result, I will not seek a full term as vice chairman at the upcoming annual meeting and will urge the state committee to elect somebody who can commit the time needed to fulfill the obligations of this important position.”
Merrifield said, “It has been a tremendous honor to serve as vice chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. I have enjoyed working with the outstanding grassroots activists who helped our party take back the New Hampshire House, the Executive Council and the First District Congressional seat.
“I have also enjoyed working side by side with Jennifer Horn and have been impressed by the strong leadership that she has provided for the NHGOP. Jennifer has helped to modernize our political infrastructure, unite our party and effectively support our candidates and elected officials. I believe that Jennifer has earned another term as chairman, and will urge my colleagues on the state committee to support her if she chooses to seek reelection.”