By Alice Giordano
There are more than a dozen Republicans looking to oust the two Democrats representing New Hampshire in the U.S. House of Representatives—potentially critical races nationally given the Live Free or Die state’s status as a swing state.
Who decides the outcome of the contested GOP races may not necessarily be Republican voters with about 39 percent of New Hampshire’s registered voters remaining undeclared.
Race for 1st Congressional District
Among the top contenders for the 1st Congressional seat, held by ultra-liberal Democrat Chris Pappas, is 25-year-old ultra-conservative Karoline Leavitt, a former White House press writer.
Leavitt has won endorsements from an impressive string of notable Republicans including Ted Cruz, Elise Stefanik, who is chair of the House Republican Conference, and Jim Jordan—founder of the Freedom Caucus and a Trump ally.
“Karoline is a fighter who shares our core values, will bring new leadership to D.C. and help conservatives stand up to the Swamp,” said Ted Cruz, who is planning to stump for Leavitt in New Hampshire’s Sept. 13 primaries.
Leavitt’s campaign proposals include a zero-tolerance policy for illegal immigration, cutting taxes, opposing the federalization of elections, and what she called misleading red flag laws that seek to undermine Second Amendment rights.
Leavitt’s campaign did not respond to inquiries from The Epoch Times.
At a recent debate, the native of New Hampshire jumped at the chance to say she would vote to impeach President Joe Biden for what she called “dereliction of duty at our southern borders.”
“He’s allowed the foreign invasion of our country. He’s betrayed his oath to the Constitution and to our homeland,” she said.
Leavitt is in a near tie with 35-year-old Matt Mowers, a former senior White House adviser to the state department under the Trump administration.
Mowers also served on both Trump’s campaign and transition team. His campaign platform includes finishing Trump’s wall, restoring policing powers of U.S. border patrol, and holding China accountable for the COVID pandemic.
Trump’s endorsement of Mowers came in a Dec. 2020 tweet in which he called Mowers “a champion for the great state of New Hampshire.”
Since then Mowers has been heavily criticized by both Republicans and Democrats after being outed for voting twice in the 2016 election—once in New Hampshire and once in New Jersey where he grew up.
His campaign manager Parker Corey was quick to point out that Mowers hasn’t been charged or fined for the double voting and that the real focus should be on who will represent New Hampshire best in Washington.
Mowers, in a statement released to The Epoch Times, emphasized his history with the Trump administration in defeating terrorists like ISIS and taking on foreign drug cartels.
“I am the only candidate in this race who worked tirelessly to elect President Trump in 2016 and advance the America First agenda when the RINOS [Republicans in Name Only] and establishment were fighting against the start of the MAGA movement,” said Mowers.
The married father of a 1-year-old son has won endorsements from House Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and secretary Mike Pompeo.
Trailing a near distance behind Mowers and Leavitt is Gail Huff Brown, a former Boston TV anchor and wife of Scott Brown, the last Republican in Massachusetts to be elected to a Congressional seat. He moved to New Hampshire and ran unsuccessfully against Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014.
Huff Brown is a pro-choice Republican who won the endorsement of TV conservative Sean Hannity. The 60-year-old also won a rare endorsement from the National Border Patrol Council, owing to her primary campaign promise to better equip border police in meeting her primary campaign focus to close U.S. borders.
She also calls for safeguarding Second Amendment rights and ending socialism and current inflationary times, which she blames on what she calls the “Pappas-Pelosi-Biden spending spree.”
Race for 2nd Congressional District
Leading in the contested Republican primary for five-term Democrat Annie Kuster’s seat in the 2nd Congressional District is a 36-year-old moderate Republican with an endorsement from New Hampshire’s moderate Gov. Chris Sununu, and a 44-year-old ultra conservative with a lengthy history with the Trump campaign.
George Hansel, Sununu’s pick from the seven Republicans vying for Kuster’s D.C. job, currently serves as the town manager for Keene, a liberal college town that sits at the state’s northwest border of Vermont that adopted a resolution in 2017 that encourages limited cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Hansel is owner of a family-run business that makes liquid chillers and hosts a local, weekly radio show on local station WKBK.
Like Sununu, Hansel’s predicted success by his supporters is based on his moderate politics. He supports abortion up to 24 weeks, opposed a ban on mask mandates, and attended rallies by Black Lives Matters.
“He really is just phenomenal at getting at the touchpoint, and that’s exactly what people want out of Washington,” Sununu said in May in announcing his endorsement of Hansel.
Hansel lists his campaign focuses are on inflation, job growth, supporting law enforcement, and “stopping dangerous drugs like fentanyl from flowing across the border.”
His top challenger for the Republican ticket is Robert Burns, the older of the younger candidates. At age 44, Burns, also a small business owner, has a lengthy history in state and national politics.
In 2008, Mike Huckabee elected him as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention. In 2012, he was named deputy state director of Newt Grinch’s campaign for president and in 2016, Trump picked him as one of delegates for the Republican National Convention.
Burns lists securing the borders as one of his top priorities along with parental rights, stopping unconstitutional government mandates, and restoring American jobs that went overseas. He also proposes passing a national reciprocity policy for concealed carry permits.