When asked about the role of the NHGOP Chair toward the beginning of our conversation, two-time 2nd District Congressional candidate Jennifer Horn shows her experience in elective politics, clearly stating that, “The role of the Republican Party Chairman is to help Republicans get elected.” Simple as that.
Horn expands on this theme, stressing that a Party leader must do more than understand individual tactics; rather, he or she must have a comprehensive view of running an organization:
“We need a Chairman that understands not just one or two of those tools, but understands all of those tools and how to strategically implement them in a manner that will get Republicans elected, whether its leveraging media, social media, or rebuilding the staff infrastructure,” says Horn, continuing, “We need somebody who has the experience and the knowledge and the strategic understanding to coordinate and implement all these tools at the same time, and that’s what I bring to the table.”
Getting into detail on some of the individual ‘tools,’ Horn outlines plans to rebuild the state GOP voter database and increase online outreach to both potential voters and potential donors, but stresses the immediate need for resources before implementing any of these items.
Horn estimates that the NHGOP needs to be able to raise at least $500,000 a year to maintain professional operation on par with that of the NH Democratic Party. To get there, she says that she would focus on getting a strong commitment from Republicans in NH’s federal delegation to help fundraise, both locally and in Washington, D.C., make appeals to regional donors given NH’s greater ability to elect Republicans than some neighboring states, and develop a strong, broad grassroots giving operation within the state, consisting of Republicans pledging recurring small-dollar donations each month.
One area where Horn shows a clear divergence with her opponent Andrew Hemingway is when asked whether, if elected, she would view her role as involving enforcing the Republican Party platform, to which she responds by articulating support for the platform while stopping short of enforcement:
“The Chairman must be able to promote and defend the Party platform – being an articulate messenger for the Party is one of the primary responsibilities of the Chair,” she said, continuing, “However,’enforcing’ the platform belongs in the hands of the voters – the citizens choose their candidates.”
Party disunity is a subject about which Horn speaks passionately, expressing her frustration with GOP infighting: “I think one of the most distracting things that we have done to ourselves as a Party over the past several years is that we spend too much time beating up on Republicans and not enough time beating up on Democrats, and I think our focus should be on uniting all the different groups that identify as Republican into a coordinated effort to defeat Democrats.”
When we ask about how she would deal with the inter-Party factions already existing, she expresses similar sentiments to Hemingway, stating, “One of the most important things you have to do as a leader…is to be able to bring people together who didn’t necessarily support you for that position to begin with…We need to be respectful of our differences and work together on what we have in common.”
Horn tackles one more hot-button issue among Republicans before our conversation ends, speaking to her position as a conservative woman in the aftermath of the thumping GOP candidates received from women this election cycle:
“When it comes to women and the Republican Party, I have been a strong advocate since the day I got involved that the Republican Party is the best, strongest voice for contemporary women,” she says, “Now, the fact that people who went to the voting booths on Election Day didn’t believe that is our failure as a Party.
Despite that failure, Horn articulates hope for the future of the party with her female compatriots, “Women are starting more small businesses than men, women make the majority of healthcare decisions, women make the majority of purchasing decisions in our country, women are an economic engine, and there’s no question that the Republican Party is the strongest advocate in all of those areas.”
Amelia Chassé contributed to this report.