By JOHN DiSTASO, News Editor
(Thursday, June 12:)
CONCORD — There have been discussions underway between conservative U.S. Senate candidates Karen Testerman and Bob Smith concerning whether one of them should drop out of the race and endorse the other, allowing what they view as a single constitutional conservative to go forward in the GOP primary.
But Smith spokesman Peter Schweitzer said unequivocally Thursday afternoon that Smith “is not dropping out.”
Testerman told the New Hampshire Journal that former state Sen. Jim Rubens has also been part of the discussions, but Schweitzer said, on the other hand, that as far as he and Smith are concerned, “the discussion clearly does not concern Jim Rubens because he is clearly not a conservative.”
Both former Sen. Smith and long-time conservative leader Testerman have scheduled press conferences for the Legislative Office Building for Friday at 10:30 a.m. At the moment, both are scheduled to file their candidacies at about the same time.
Based on Schweitzer’s unequivocal comment that Smith is remaining in the race, the outstanding question is whether Testerman will go forward and file, or leave the race and endorse Smith. Several Republicans are suggesting that is the case, but she has not confirmed what her plans are.
“Bob Smith is a viable candidate,” said Schweitzer. “The poll numbers show it, the support on the ground shows it and the money shows it.
“The Eric Cantor loss in Virginia cannot be underestimated. Senator Smith is pumped. He’s in it to win it.”
Schweitzer added, “Karen Testerman is a patriot and a true conservative advocate and Bob Smith honors her service. She has been a wonderful light for New Hampshire.”