House Speaker Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson, narrowly won confirmation as commissioner of agriculture Wednesday, setting up a battle to replace him as the New Hampshire Legislature heads into the 2018 session. The two Democrats on the council, Andru Volinsky of Concord and Chris Pappas of Manchester, helped deliver the appointment to Sununu, a first-term Republican.
How apropo is that headline from the Union Leader! He became Speaker of the NH House by dint of the Democrats “appointing” him after his own Party had essentially rejected him. Bad things came from that, especially on issues that really mattered to the base. I still have no clue how the NH GOP House members voted him in again after him pulling a Doug Scammon (a Republican that also used the Democrats to gain power).
And now he has gained a Commissionership courtesy of the Democrats. That will be his legacy – a Republican who only succeeded by the active involvement by Democrats (and not Republicans).
So, Sununu has maneuvered to remove him from his elected office (the lure of a $92K/year for 5 years probably didn’t hurt either). That’s now set up quite scramble for his replacement. Thus far, this is starting to be a fustercluck – has a third of the Republican caucus looked at themselves in the mirror and proclaimed “I CAN be Speaker!”. While I have no dog in this fight (at least, not yet), I wonder how split up this can make things and I have no idea how this is going to turn out at this moment.
The one thing I do fear is that the caucus will become quite fractured and while a few of the Dems complained about their process, there really only seems to be one Democrat running – Steve “Deputy Dawg” Shurtleff. Is it possible that the Republican Jaspercrats may pull a “reverse Jasper” and enough of them that could join with the Democrats and make him Speaker? When one looks at the HRA and HRLA scores, there certainly are enough RINOs that are sufficiently Dem-philic to make it happen.
The question is, will they do so?
But for Jasper: