By JOHN DiSTASO, News Editor
Wednesday, June 18
CONCORD — Former long-time state Rep. Henry Mock of Jackson has backed Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate after initially backing Jim Rubens.
Rubens first announced Mock as one of his supporters last fall.
He has now backed Brown, voicing support for party unity.
In a statement released by the Brown campaign, Mock says:
“I am pleased to support Senator Scott Brown and applaud his efforts thus far to run an aggressive ground game in his race for senate. Brown has proven his grassroots support spreads from the Seacoast to the North Country, and I am proud to join his growing list of supporters to help him unseat Jeanne Shaheen.
“In order to achieve victory this November, New Hampshire Republicans must unite behind our chosen nominee after the primary race. Anything less than that will diminish our chances to face off against Senator Shaheen in the general election and win this race for Granite State families. I am hopeful each candidate will acknowledge the importance of Chairman Horn’s unity letter come September.”
Brown’s camp is also announcing the endorsement of former Rubens supporter Rep. Philip Straight, R-Merrimack. The New Hampshire Journal reported on Straight on Tuesday.
(Our earlier reports follow.)
Tuesday, June 17;
CONCORD — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown’s campaign says two state representatives are now backing Brown after initially backing Jim Rubens.
Rep. Rick Ladd, R-Haverhill, said in a statement that he initially supported Rubens’ and is now “disappointed” by Rubens’ initial refusal to pledge to support Brown should Brown win the GOP Senate nomination.
Rep. Philip Straight, R-Merrimack, said, “I respect Jim and will fully support him if he is our nominee. But I’m surprised that Jim won’t agree to support the winner of the Republican senate primary and commit to attend the party’s unity breakfast. Republicans need to be 100 percent united in November and its troubling that Jim has indicated he may not vote for a Republican if he doesn’t win the nomination.”
Rubens adviser James Basbas pointed out Ladd “left the Rubens campaign about three weeks ago,” and, he noted, Brown announced Ladd as a Grafton County co-chair on June 11, before state chair Jennifer Horn asked all candidates to sign her “Unity Letter.” Separately, a source close to the Rubens campaign say Straight left as a campaign supporter of Rubens in April.
Rubens said in response to state Horn’s “Unity Letter” request (see story elsewhere on NHJournal.com) that he could not yet pledge to support Brown because, he said in reference to Brown, “another candidate in this race is someone who has not participated in any debates or public, unfiltered, forums. It would be premature of me to pledge my potential support to that candidate at this time before I have a clearer view of who they are, who they represent and what they stand for.”
In a statement from Ladd released by the Brown campaign, Ladd says, “Jim Rubens is a good person and thoughtful candidate. I initially supported Jim’s candidacy, but am disappointed that he has refused to commit to endorsing our eventual nominee for Senate.
“It’s troubling he is leaving the door open to supporting a third party candidate who could siphon off votes from Republicans,” said Ladd. “In order to defeat Jeanne Shaheen and restore fiscal sanity to our government, Republicans need to be united in November.
Ladd said Brown is a lifelong Republican “who is building a strong grassroots campaign that can win in November. He is the only candidate who can beat Jeanne Shaheen, and I am now proud to join his campaign to change Washington.”
Straight said, “I have been impressed with the strong grassroots campaign that Scott Brown has run. He continues to prove that he is the strongest candidate running for Senate and the best person to take on Jeanne Shaheen in the fall.”
Ladd is a three-term state representative who serves on the House Education Committee. He is a former school administrator in Alaska and in Maine. He is also a member of the Haverhill Selectboard. Straight is a member of the House Transportation Committee.
Rubens adviser Basbas said that for the Brown campaign to imply that the Rubens’ refusal to sign the “Unity Letter” is the reason Ladd has left his campaign is inaccurate.
But a Brown campaign adviser said the campaign statement did not mean to imply that Ladd’s move was directly related to Ruben’s comments on the Unity Letter, just that Ladd was disappointed Rubens has not signed the letter.