CONCORD — Republican State Committee chairman Jennifer Horn decided in the past few days to stay away from the House GOP caucus led by Rep. Bill O’Brien on Tuesday and the caucus led today by Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper.
Horn initially accepted invitations to both caucuses and, as the New Hampshire Journal reported, planned to attend both. But, according to GOP sources, she then changed her mind.
According to a source close to Horn, “She felt that the party had done everything it could on this issue and it was time for the members of the House Republican caucus to move forward and advance conservative policies.”
Horn is running for reelection as party chair at the NHGOP state committee meeting on Jan. 10. So far, no opponent has publicly emerged.
On Tuesday, a group of more than 100 O’Brien supporters caucused and decided to propose a House rules change, as the New Hampshire Journal has been reporting, which would in effect make O’Brien the House Republican Majority Leader, rather than the Majority Leader appointed by Jasper, Rep. Jack Flanagan.
That rule change is expected to be presented to the House Rules Committee tomorrow and regardless of how it fares there, it is expected to be brought up on the floor of the full House during the first session day, Jan. 7.
Even if it fails there, O’Brien has said that based on the initial vote of House Republicans nominating him as Speaker, he will be the Republican leader. Jasper, as has been reported, rejected the Nov. 18 vote of the House Republicans and became Speaker in the Dec. 3 final vote with the support of 159 Democrat. That was the number reported by House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff.
On Monday night, the state GOP executive committee passed a resolution “censuring” Jasper for working with Democrats to become speaker. Horn has also been supportive of O’Brien, as the party nominee for Speaker. But now, according to sources, feels the party has don all that it can do to address the situation.
Today, Jasper is leading a caucus of House Republicans after releasing an op-ed entitled, “Time to Get to Work for the People of New Hampshire,” in which he pledges “to make the next two years as productive as possible by working with those who are truly committed to public service.”