This post is based on the assumption that Chris Sununu runs for the United States Senate in 2022. If you disagree with this assumption, then this post is not a good use of your time.
If Chris Pappas gets reelected, he walks into the Governor’s office in 2022. So … GOP primary voters in CD-1 better get it right. And by “get it right,” I mean pick the candidate with the best chance of beating Pappas.
To be clear, beating Pappas is no guarantee that he does not run for Governor in 2022 and win. We have the fairly recent example of Maggie Hassan losing a State Senate race in 2010 and then rebounding to win the Governor’s race in 2012. However, obviously Pappas would be in a much stronger position as a two-term incumbent Congressman than as a former Congressman.
Who does the NH-GOP have to run against Pappas? I think many would say the current Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. We have seen Attorney Generals move on to higher office … Steve Merrill, Governor and Kelly Ayotte, U.S. Senator. I cannot think of an example of an Education Commissioner doing so.
I would prefer an incumbent U.S. Congressman opposing Pappas. (Note: I do not know if Matt Mowers would have the requisite seven-years of domicile. I believe he became the NH-GOP Executive Director in 2013, which … assuming he did not vote elsewhere since then … would make him eligible. However, the Mayberry campaign says otherwise.)
If the GOP cannot knock Pappas off in CD-1, then it is unlikely that they can defeat him statewide because CD-2 is more Democrat than CD-1.
If Pappas becomes Governor, New Hampshire becomes a deep, deep, deep Blue State. His ideology is identical to AOC’s squad. In other words, GAME OVER if Pappas becomes Governor.
Pappas must be defeated now. GOP primary voters in CD-1 better get it right.