LIVE! From the NH Repub Annual Meeting - Granite Grok

LIVE! From the NH Repub Annual Meeting

Final update (I think)

A very long day (now that I am home).  First time at a large Republican get together – cool

Watching the process – cooler.  Voting – 1/3 as far as winners….but why not use electronic voting?  This paper balloting takes a long time….

Watching the reactions of people when I explained what I was doing – blogging live to the Internet, shooting emails to Doug, and then having it immediately relayed over the air via Meet the New Press radio show – REAL cool! 

Seeing people that I have not seen in a while and reconnecting with them – better still

Finally meeting Jorge Mesa-Tejada (contributor to radio shows, including Meet The New Press and the ‘Grok blogs!) in person for the first time – coolest!

And I thank him for his kindness in introducing me to some folks that I otherwise would not have met.

(and I thank the folks that watched the laptop when I had to disappear for a little bit)! 

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Update 19

Person elected to the Chair is Fergus Cullen

Fran Wendelboe      129

Will Infantine         25

Fergus Cullen         247

Eric Estevez                

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Update 18

 They are still counting the vote…and there may be multiple votes….guess I will be here for a while…I am hearing that some folks are already whining about getting out of there.

Hey, this is cool!  Someone here just got up to the mic to ask for support for the Pease Troop Greeters (modeled after the Maine Troop Greeters at the Bangor Airport.  These folks made a request to purchase "stuff" like a cookbook to raise money to help keep this support mission going.  More information on them here.  More on the Maine Troop Greeters here.

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Update 17

Voting for the Chair

 Fegus Cullen was nominated by the Goffstown Chair (I missed her name) – declined to come on our show!

Will Infantine was nominated by Mayor Guinta – interviewed by the folks at Meet The New Press!

Fran Wendelboe was nominated by Mr. Kirk (Kurk?) – interviewed by the folks at Meet The New Press!

Eric Estavez was nominated….and I’m missing folks’ names (sorry!)

 

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Update 16

Sean Mahoney was elected 302-102 to be the new National CommitteeMan

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Update 15

 Voting for the Vice Chair position….while they are counting the votes.

Ray (phonetic spelling) Wizoric (sorry!) is nominating the current Vice Chair, Wayne McDonald,  to return  to the post

No other nominations……he’s it! 

 

Voting for the Treasurer

Wayne McDonald is nominating the present Treasurer again (Robert Scott)

No other nominations….he’s it! 

 

Voting for Asst. Treasurer 

Wayne Semprini is nominating Eileen (oh never mind….)

No other nominations….she’s it!

Er, I’m beginning to see the pattern, that people on the Exec COmmittee seem to be all nominating each other….but no one is objecting…..is this a good thing?  No opposition at all?

 

Voting for Secretary

Juanita Dangle (sp?) is being nominated.

No other nominations….she’s it!

 

Voting for Asst. Secretary 

Sharon Carson is being nominated by Wayne Semprini.

NON…She’s it!
 

 

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Update 14

Time for voting…..Vice area chair 

Caucus time for the areas….I am in Area 5. 

Jeff Newman (sp?) was elected

Am talking with Frank Tilton, the Belknap County Chair, and he just informed me that Jeff will be at the next Belknap County meeting, Feb 14, at the Shanghai rest. at the regular time (5:30 for dinner, 6:30pm for the actual meeting)…..Thanks Frank! 

Actually, Jeff Newman wants to folks to know that his main purposes is to get new candidates and town committees going….if you want to hear more, show up!

Now for National Committee Man

Sean Mahoney, Tom Eaton are those being nominated

I guess this will be the part of politics that may never be at the top of my ‘favorites" list….nomination speeches……yawn……     Thankfully, the speakers have been limited time wise => 2-3 minutes each.  Then the actual nominees?  Then the voting and acceptance speech (at least those are limited too!)

Tom gets to speak first.

Rs are motivated like never before…looking forward to working with the new Chair.  What we do here will affect 08 (snide – ya think?).  07 is the time to remind voters why they trusted us for so long.  Thanking Tom Rauth for his years of service.  Dissing the Ds for not protecting the First in the Nation Primary, especially Gov. Lynch for not fighting more against the Ds front loading the process (thus making NH a bit less important).

Sean Mahoney (more cheers than for Eaton)

Seeing the energy here and across the state; we should be able to stick it in Soro’s and MoveOn.Org eye.  Talked about the loss of the retail politics by the front loading by bigger states – costs will go from 100 Mil to 200 Mil for races.  He promises to work not only at the RNC but also at our local level…he wants to capture LOTS of Fed seats…all 4 seats back to Rs.  More enthusiastic response from the crowd.

 Time to vote…so this may be the last update for a bit…..And yes, I have voted for Sean Mahoney.

Update 14

Time for voting…..Vice area chair 

Caucus time for the areas….I am in Area 5. 

Jeff Newman (sp?) was elected

Am talking with Frank Tilton, the Belknap County Chair, and he just informed me that Jeff will be at the next Belknap County meeting, Feb 14, at the Shanghai rest. at the regular time (5:30 for dinner, 6:30pm for the actual meeting)…..Thanks Frank! 

Actually, Jeff Newman wants to folks to know that his main purposes is to get new candidates and town committees going….if you want to hear more, show up!

Now for National Committee Man

Sean Mahoney, Tom Eaton are those being nominated

I guess this will be the part of politics that may never be at the top of my ‘favorites" list….nomination speeches……yawn……     Thankfully, the speakers have been limited time wise => 2-3 minutes each.  Then the actual nominees?  Then the voting and acceptance speech (at least those are limited too!)

Tom gets to speak first.

Rs are motivated like never before…looking forward to working with the new Chair.  What we do here will affect 08 (snide – ya think?).  07 is the time to remind voters why they trusted us for so long.  Thanking Tom Rauth for his years of service.  Dissing the Ds for not protecting the First in the Nation Primary, especially Gov. Lynch for not fighting more against the Ds front loading the process (thus making NH a bit less important).

Sean Mahoney (more cheers than for Eaton)

Seeing the energy here and across the state; we should be able to stick it in Soro’s and MoveOn.Org eye.  Talked about the loss of the retail politics by the front loading by bigger states – costs will go from 100 Mil to 200 Mil for races.  He promises to work not only at the RNC but also at our local level…he wants to capture LOTS of Fed seats…all 4 seats back to Rs.  More enthusiastic response from the crowd.

 Time to vote…so this may be the last update for a bit…..And yes, I have voted for Sean Mahoney.

 

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Update 13:

Oh gosh…bylaw time.

Semprini recognizes Fran Wendelboe who moves that the bylaws be considered at a later date….of the 419 delegates present, only 1 no 

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Update 12

I think we are done with the reports…time for voting?

Wrong!  (yes chucklehead, try looking at your agenda…you know, the thing that you typed in a little while ago….grab a clue).

Sorry folks!

The Thomson family is up to give their award, followed by the others IN THE AGENDA! 

The Cotton awards are being given out…my area, Belknap County, awardee’s name is not being given out as County Chair Frank Tilton wanted to wait as the recipient could not be here today. 

Ruth Griffen is getting the Lifetime award

Wayne Semprini is the Senate award winner

Ditto for the House award

And he gets another presentation from the NH R State Committee 

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Update 11

Report times…..I’m going to take a break.

In addition to being old, these seats are HARD…all scrunched up to type, my back is killing me…..

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Update 10

Semprini is intro-ing former Governer Sununu

I did not know he has a PhD in M.E…..I’m impressed!!!  Quite the academic!

A very warm welcome from the crowd – the only one that got a standing O BEFORE he started.

Thanking folks……

Feels funny speaking, as "old goats like me" should stay off the stage.  He agreed only in that it is an important meeting for the NH Rs and the state because it will begin the process of restoring proper governance to the State of NH

It is unique, with our 2 year cycle, combined with the Prez race, will give a unique primary elections.

We need to create a R message that is clear and sent out, that redefines the difference between the Rs and the Ds.

It is OUR fault that we have to do this……

We are facing the most critical time in our State because of the Education Funding crisis, and unless it is solved and we tell folks the WHY and the HOW to fix it, we will become like any other state and lose the NH Advantage.

We have given the state the VISION and the PERFORMANCE that has given the Ds the cover to pretend to sign onto the pledge.

No matter what the differences are, we have to talk, and go out from here as a united party.

It is OUR principles that is the heart and soul of the NH Advantage.

We should learn from losing….we did not explain what the differences are between us and the Ds.  We allowed internal differences to become external confusion, and that affected the public.

We have to start over again….we were the Biblical "lukewarm" that is spat out upon the ground….in the middle instead of standing up for principles.

He’s a pretty good speaker!

We have differences and priorities, but we can be a big tent party but with no principles we have no tent.

We need 4-5 issues to concentrate on.

– We blieve that gov’t should be small enough to give people the services they require (he stressed that), but minimal enough so that people have the control over the system.  Dems have wheedled it larger and moved things upwards instead of local level.  THIS is a fundamental part of the NH Advantage

– A committment to high quality of service to folks.  At the local level so it doesn;t have to go upward

– we believe in the things that create a high quality of life – environment, open space.  

– We take the Pledge not to get elected but to give good governance.  We mean it, instead of giving it lip service. We see it as a tool, the Ds see it as a constraint.

We have to be a united party, to be able to restore sanity to the State.

Standing O (quick one) 

 

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Update 9

Into by Semprini for Bradley

Thanks the exec committee and those that helped him during his terms.

He just said we’d send Senator Sununu, a candidate for President, back to the Senate…people went "huh?"

It was great  to have served. 

He is running in 08 –  standing O from the crowd.

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Update 8

Semprini intro-ing Bass

Bass starts in

Thanks all for the expressions of love and support to him and his family.  He never realized how wonderful the Rs are.

Again…3 minute limit..small dig at "senate time"

We are the party of Lincoln, Theodore Rosvelt (brain spelling cramp!), and Reagan….will are going to begin the biggest comeback in the history of the state.  Next election will be different, as we will be a team.  We need to bring the words of the previous speakers to the people.

We have to put aside our differences for the next 14 months to take back the state. 

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Update 7

Semprini is intro-ing Sununu

You know, sitting sideways in a theater seat built way back when, when people were smaller, no one had an idea of what a laptop would be, makes this a very hard task to type right….apologies if the spelling / grammer is mangled.

Sununu

His mom thanks Semprini for his kind remarks, and that his dad had some to do with politics too.

Thanking Wayne McDonald for his service (current Vice Chair here in NH of the R party).

2008 will be a great campaign year…with prez candidates crisscrossing the
state.   But don’t forget 2007 either 

He expects he will have a hard campaign….he says that he has folks at the local level, wants to get the county level.

He wants this to be a different campaign than in 1996 and 2000 and in 2002…

Thanks everyone for standing behind him and supporting him.

 

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 Update 6

Senator Gregg stepped up to the mic.

He is joking that he only has 3 minutes to speak…thanks Rudy……hat tip to John Sununu…have to reelect him.  Problem – elections has consequences and this certainly did (Bradley and Bass).  Commenting on Pelosi and the San Fran team….the first 100 hours only effect will be a tax hike.

Said that whenever we send troops out, they should ALWAYS get the full support and NOT what the Dems want to do (cut funding).

Noting that NH has gone to the Dems.  We have to reconfirm no sales tax and no income tax.  We are the party of ideas and purposes.  We have to refocus, restate, and reaffirm them:

  • Strong national defense (we don’t see thru rosy red glasses) 
  • It is the people’s money, not the governments (something that Ted Kennedy doesn’t seem to understand)
  • Strong environmental to keep the quality of the state as it is.
  • Big tent party

 We are a party of purpose, and must remain that way

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Update 5:

I had been sitting alone…but Ken Merrifield and Tony Guinta from Franklin just came in!  It was REALLY nice to see them and we chatted for a while.  Ken, currently a city counselor there will be running for Mayor.  With an emphasis of low taxes, he will continue supporting the tax cap that Franklin has had for a while.  While many thought it would be the actual demise of the city, it forced the leadership to be creative, and Franklin is now undergoing an revival both in the town as well as in its school (with drop outs going from 16% to 2!)

Start time!!!!!  Wayne Semprini is bringing order to the room, it has quieted down, and now the cameras are flashing.  He is noting that there "are a LOT of press here to cover my last day as Chair" (big laughs from the crowd).

Invocation – short prayer

Pledge – lead by Wayne McDonald.

Anthem – good job, joined in by many!  Being under the balconey, the sound got muffled.

Intro by Semprini of Mayor Guinta….No notes, sounding strong.  Feels handicapped as only two alderman are Rs, the rest are Ds.  He feels that people want lower taxes and safer streets.  They want accountability from the leaders.  Next year, the Rs will be back!

Rudy time!  Or I thought….Semprini is going on and on with his intro.

    He’s up….empathizing with Mayor Guinta…as he only had 1 Repub on his city counselor.  "More Repubs in this room than in all of Manhatten";  Related a campaign event where he was handshaking around and a man pumped his head and said" It will be cold day in hell before MY city has a Republican mayor!"  Rudy said he smiled and simply said "Thank You!" (big laugh from crowd).

    He loves our motto "Live free or die!"  It cannot get much more simpler than that – and listed the results of such a philosophy – low taxes, personal responsibility, and the best economy in NE.

    Have to get Bradley and Bass  back into office

 ON the NH Rs losses – you learn more from losing than in winning….we have better ideas than they do….we are the party of the future….we are not down, but our eyes are on the future.

We are the strongest country that has ever been, we are the freest country in the world and the most spiritual one, as we believe in our selves.

We make progress from optimism and not pessimism..,..solve problems from strenght and not weakness …we have to win the war on terrorism.

Part of that has to be militarily….as the terrorists are at war with us for some time to come.

But our ultimate victory will be from the strength of ideas, and that must be important too.

We want to be countries that are not at war with each other but do business with each other.

BTW, he is doing this with no notes…..

We have to be Republican strong, not Democrat light.

We have to believe in our freedom.

It starts with a country that is military strong (H/T to Reagan!) and we have to be willing to use it to defend ourselves.

[snip] – tech problems getting this to update

 

….he is basically sounding like Reagan of old….stop being pessimistic – you ONLY succeed with optimistic..,…you only are successful by staying and being strong!

A core principle – fiscal frugal way…give the money back to the people, as they know how to spend their money better than any governmental bureau.

Talking about energy…we should be able to do ethanol……we haven’t had a new nuke plant in years…..

we need secure borders.

The perception he sees "out there" is to get things done NOW…too much gets started but not finished.  Government has to work in order for people to have confidence in it.

It is all about VISION and PERFORMANCE.  If I promise things, because I’ve done them before.

We should reduce taxes to stimulate the economy.

Measure everyone by their VISION and their PERFORMANCE….always be optimistic (it’s more fun!)

We never want another 9/11.  Could we get thru it, can we get thru it?  What got him thru it were the fire and the police run it so others could run out.

 People who live in freedom have more strength than those that do not…and we have to build that up and not tear it down!

He finished, and got a standing O!

 Semprini is now introducing Senator Gregg

 

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Eric Estevez, the young man running for the Chair stopped by, but only so briefly.  Basically, he threw a single piece of paper at me (have not had time to read) and walked on….didn’t even ask for a vote.  I think he knows that he is low man on the totem pole, but it at least gets his name out to the activists.

 

Update 5:

I had been sitting alone…but Ken Merrifield and Tony Guinta from Franklin just came in!  It was REALLY nice to see them and we chatted for a while.  Ken, currently a city counselor there is "rumored" to be mulling a run for Franklin City Mayor.  With an emphasis of low taxes, he will continue supporting the tax cap that Franklin has had for a while.  While many thought it would be the actual demise of the city, it forced the leadership to be creative, and Franklin is now undergoing an revival both in the town as well as in its school (with drop outs going from 16% to 2!)

Start time!!!!!  Wayne Semprini is bringing order to the room, it has quieted down, and now the cameras are flashing.  He is noting that there "are a LOT of press here to cover my last day as Chair" (big laughs from the crowd).

Invocation – short prayer

Pledge – lead by Wayne McDonald.

Anthem – good job, joined in by many!  Being under the balconey, the sound got muffled.

Intro by Semprini of Mayor Guinta….No notes, sounding strong.  Feels handicapped as only two alderman are Rs, the rest are Ds.  He feels that people want lower taxes and safer streets.  They want accountability from the leaders.  Next year, the Rs will be back!

Rudy time!  Or I thought….Semprini
is going on and on with his intro.

    He’s up….empathizing with Mayor Guinta…as he only had 1 Repub on his city counselor.  "More Repubs in this room than in all of Manhatten";  Related a campaign event where he was handshaking around and a man pumped his head and said" It will be cold day in hell before MY city has a Republican mayor!"  Rudy said he smiled and simply said "Thank You!" (big laugh from crowd).

    He loves our motto "Live free or die!"  It cannot get much more simpler than that – and listed the results of such a philosophy – low taxes, personal responsibility, and the best economy in NE.

    Have to get Bradley and Bass  back into office

 ON the NH Rs losses – you learn more from losing than in winning….we have better ideas than they do….we are the party of the future….we are not down, but our eyes are on the future.

We are the strongest country that has ever been, we are the freest country in the world and the most spiritual one, as we believe in our selves.

We make progress from optimism and not pessimism..,..solve problems from strenght and not weakness …we have to win the war on terrorism.

Part of that has to be militarily….as the terrorists are at war with us for some time to come.

But our ultimate victory will be from the strength of ideas, and that must be important too.

We want to be countries that are not at war with each other but do business with each other.

BTW, he is doing this with no notes…..

We have to be Republican strong, not Democrat light.

We have to believe in our freedom.

It starts with a country that is military strong (H/T to Reagan!) and we have to be willing to use it to defend ourselves.

 

 

 

Update 4:

The stage is set.  Wayne Semprini is now at the lecturn, and it is about 10 minutes before the fun begins!  He is dead center with a table to my right.  Most of the seats are pretty much filled up, and now we have ushers that are keeping the Press (except for your’s truly!) from getting to "the floor" – now, only voting members allowed past.

Eric Estevez, the young man running for the Chair stopped by, but only so briefly.  Basically, he threw a single piece of paper at me (have not had time to read) and walked on….didn’t even ask for a vote.  I think he knows that he is low man on the totem pole, but it at least gets his name out to the activists.

The Agenda!

    * Call to order
    * Invocation
    * Pledge of Allegiance
    * National Anthem
    * Appointment of Officers
    * Remarks (oh my, such a list
    * Manchester Mayor Guinta, America’s Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Sens Gregg and Sununu, Cong. Bass and Bradley, and former Governer John H Sununu)
    * Reports – Quorum, Rules, Secretary, Treasurer, Young Republicans, Chaiman
    * Awards – Meldrim Thomson, Norris Cotton, Lifetime Service
    * Sentate & House Presentation – Gatsas and Whalley
    * Bylaw Proposals
    * Elections – in order – Area Vice Chair, National Commmitteeman, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Asst. Treas.,, Sectretary, Asst Sec., Chairman
    * Adjournment

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Update 3:

Now it is getting real noisy here.  When I was talking with Ken Gorrell, Rudy Guiliani came in…gosh, one would have thought that the Pope had arrived.  Talk about a cluster of politicos fawning over him…..clue- he puts his pants on just the way the rest of us do.

However, I will admit, he seemed quite gracious to all of the requests for autographs and pictures, and would take questions from the press that were able to break through the cordon of flacks trying to protect him.  For that, the small confines of the Palace help, as one sharp elbow or two can send someone from one side of the corridor to another.

Am also learning that politicos seem to be deaf to the phrase "excuse me, may I come thru?"…..sharp elbows may actually be needed.  OK, at least a willingness to not be too polite, raise your voice, and a firm nudge gets their attention…and then they are polite!

 

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Update 2:

Phew – parking is  free and I got a great spot on the street.  Now I don’t have to leave at all…

Met Shelly of the Tancredo campaign.  Congressman Tancredo appeared on MTNP last weekend thanks to her!  Had a bit of a chat and was able to give her a CD of the show – use it well!

I have to admire the folks that are standing outside huckstering for their candidates.  Folks, it is COLD here in NH this morning.  I live an hour north of Manchester, and it was -4 on Belknap Mountain – it’s about 5 here now and all of the folks outside are shivering to beat the band.

I also ran into Ken Gorrell who is heading up the local Duncan Hunter campaign – another one shivering for his candidate.

I do have to say one thing.  Most of the people here are OLD.  Now, at 50, I’m no spring chicken, but I am quite surprised at the overall average age.  The other thing that dismays me is the lack of folks here with laptops – I seem to be the only one here actually using one, and thus, the only

 

Chuck Morse just stopped by – a former state senator from Salem  – the same area that Jorge Mesa-Tejada is from (and a contributer to GraniteGrok and MTNP!).  His thoughts are that this meeting should be seen as a start. the Republicans have had a tough time and this is a time to  regroup and restart the effort – "Only the beginng!"   Chuck had been a senator and ran for the Exec Council, but lost in the overall Democratic tide(Jorge – a good senator!).  His feeling on who should be the new Chair – no clue right now….we just need to start growing again

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Update1:

Well, just talked with Doug….feed me background all you want Doug!  And I will try to call in to the show (Meet The New Press, WEMJ 1490, 2-4, with podcasts later on!) with updates

More people coming in….I see John E Sununu schmoozing the delegates.  Being over here in the far corner, none of the "in" crowd are coming over.  True to form, I’m the only one with a laptop open, so there you go!  Being a blogger, it will be a bit hard to get up and roam around, and I guess I’m starting to understand that politically oriented people’s main mission at gatherings like this is to interact with each other.  

Note to self:  next time somebody says that the dress is casual, look at them askance.  I’m in a button down (dressed up for an engineer!) but most are in suits…..sigh

Sue Emerson just walked by, a Rep from Rindge wearing a Team Fran sticker.  Her comment is that most of Fran’s supporters are wearing such and that it is looking pretty good right now.  We will see.

Gotta feed the meter….gotta find somebody to hold this laptop…next update will have the agenda (I hope)

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Well, I’m sitting here at the Palace Theater, back row, next to the audio booth (I want to thank Dan for cluing me in on the WiFi spot, and to him and Dana for sneaking me an extension cord!).

This is an old theater, the ornate style of the 20s and 30s of the last century, but nice to have 21st Century WiFi!

Still a lot of just wandering around by folks.  The main area is the theater, divided up into three sections on the floor area with balconies around that.  There’s a long room behind it where donuts, pastries, coffe (NO MOUNTAIN DEW!!) and lots of Team Rudy folks hanging around.

Most of the activity, when I rolled in at about 7:30am, were the NBC news crew and the shared sat truck outside.  The tech folks seem to be the busiest at this point, as they are going to carry at least some of this live with taped reports as well.  I can see that there is at least one live interview going on in the right balcony overlooking the stage, but cannot tell who is being interviewed or by whome (silly glasses for computer work!).

Right now, I am the ONLY person here from the Belknap County delegation.  To be fair, there are only about 10 Repubs actually in the main area – still outnumbered by the tech crews.  No other bloggers in sight.

However, I do see Fran Wendelboe floating around and meeting / greeting folks, as she is one of the 4 candidates for the NH Chair position that is up for grabs (Will Infantine and Fergus Cullen are the other main candidates) this year, as Wayne Semprini is giving up the position).

More later!