Ovide looks to 2012
New Hampshire conservatives who have been waiting to see what Ovide Lamontagne’s next move would be after his 1,500 vote primary loss to Kelly Ayotte now have their answer. On Tuesday, Lamontagne’s newly formed Granite Oath PAC announced the first in a series of Meet and Greet-style receptions with 2012 Presidential candidates, kicking off with an event featuring Rick Santorum on January 11th. Ovide spoke with NH Journal about his PAC, his 2012 pick, and his future in the public arena:
“New Hampshire is the crucible for the nation…to figure out which candidate is the most conservative,” said Lamontagne, predicting that the tea party driven grassroots activism of the 2010 election will remain alive and well leading up to 2012, “I intend to use the PAC as a vehicle to introduce the candidates to grassroots activists, and provide an opportunity for people who may not be invited to meet candidates in more establishment settings.”
The receptions will be hosted at Lamontagne’s home and are free and open to the public. “We are erring on the side of inclusiveness,” he says, noting that he has encouraged conservative groups to post the invite on their websites and social media forums. According to Lamontagne, he does not have any other events scheduled yet, but several campaigns have expressed interest and are currently in the process of selecting a date.
When asked about his very vocal support for Mitt Romney during the 2008 Primary season, Lamontagne vehemently asserted his resolve to approach 2012 with a clean slate. “For me, this is a new election,” he said, “2008 didn’t have the same threats presented to the nation in terms of transforming us into a more socialist society…the stakes are very high this time, there is no room for error in guaranteeing that we select the right person who can win, which means the most conservative person who can win.”
Lamontagne echoed his focus on grassroots activism outside of the Republican establishment when asked about the contentious race for state GOP Chair. “I don’t want to be part of the party process at this point,” he said, explaining his decision to stay out of the race when was encouraged by many friends and supporters to run. While he declined to weigh in on candidates Juliana Bergeron and Jack Kimball, he stressed the need for the party Chair to be focused on management rather than policy advocacy.
And the million dollar question – will Ovide seek elected office in 2012, perhaps with a run against Gov. Lynch? Lamontagne coyly reasserted his focus on the Primary and his role as a “citizen activist” first and foremost, but didn’t rule anything out, saying “I hope there is an opportunity for me to serve the people of New Hampshire in some capacity at some time in the future.”