Sununu’s Bergeron endorsement: What does it mean?
As we exited 2010 it appeared that stars were aligning for tea party leader Jack Kimball to become the next Republican State Chairman. His main opponent Juliana Bergeron had hardly set the world on fire. And popular incoming Speaker Bill O’Brien endorsed Kimball right out of the gate.
What does it mean?
First, conventional wisdom shifts on a dime in small group politics. There are only 493 voters in the race for Chairman. With so few decision makers, each endorsement will move the scales.
Second, this is a huge boost for Bergeron. Despite her experience in Cheshire County, few activists East of I-93 know her. But they know John Sununu and almost to a person they respect him and appreciate his service to the state and the party.
Third, Kimball may be facing a very tough tandem in Joe McQuaid and Gov. Sununu. Would you want to meet these two guys in a dark political alley? Of course, we don’t know if the UL’s Sunday editorial is an indication that McQuaid backs Bergeron. But remember: Kimball met with the UL this summer for an editorial board meeting during his campaign for governor, so McQuaid probably has a fully formed opinion of him already.
Fourth, Kimball and his tea party supporters live for these kinds of fights; expect them to rise to the occasion. Some political pundits like James Pindell believe the tea party movement in New Hampshire is weak. NH Journal disagrees, especially given the convention-style atmosphere that will govern the selection process.
Look for expanded coverage from NH Journal on the NH GOP Chairman’s race in the days to follow.