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New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu Betrays His Own Party in Redistricting Fiasco

Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2022
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by Shane Harris
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AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

Sununu

Earlier this week, New Hampshire became the last state in the country to adopt a redistricting plan after the state Supreme Court voted to approve a map drawn by a court-appointed special master. The decision concludes an embarrassing saga for Republican Governor Chris Sununu after he vetoed two maps drawn by the Republican-controlled state legislature – just the latest example of Sununu seeming to work at every turn to block the advancement of conservative interests in the Granite State.

Despite New Hampshire generally being a battleground state in presidential and statewide elections, all four members of the state’s Congressional delegation—two House members and two Senators—are Democrats, and a Republican has not won a U.S. House or Senate seat there since 2014. Following a census year, Republicans were thus understandably eager to draw new maps that might create more parity in Congressional elections and provide more opportunity for strong candidates to represent the interests of conservative New Hampshire residents in Congress. With a Republican majority in the state legislature and a Republican in the governor’s mansion, it seemed the conditions were ripe for just such a victory.

But Governor Chris Sununu had other ideas. In March, he vetoed a map drawn by the state legislature that would have created one likely Republican district and one likely Democratic district in the state. The map just “doesn’t pass the smell test” he proclaimed at the time, just days before introducing his own map that would have cemented the incumbency advantage for both Democratic Reps. Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster. Pappas even took the step of openly supporting Sununu’s map – hardly a welcome sign for Republican challengers hoping to unseat him this fall.

Sununu’s veto sent lawmakers in the state back to the drawing board, where they drew another map that by all accounts should have assuaged the Governor’s stated concerns. The new map was objectively more compact than even the original map, and was far from the absurd-looking gerrymanders being drawn in other states like New York or Illinois.

But Sununu again shot the map down, sending it back to the legislature with his veto stamp. His reasoning this time? The new plan would have moved Manchester, the home of Chris Pappas, into the 2nd District along with Kuster’s hometown of Hopkinton.

According to Sununu, this made the map “unfair” – never mind the fact that U.S. House members don’t have to live in the district in which they run, and that no requirement in any law on the books prohibits the legislature from moving the hometown of one incumbent member into the district of another. In fact, such circumstances arise in nearly every redistricting cycle in other larger states, and are simply a fact of life for those members.

In vetoing the second map, Sununu punted the decision to the state Supreme Court, which took over the process, citing a “demonstrated impasse” as a result of the Governor’s vetoes. On Tuesday, the Court adopted a map drawn by a special master tasked with redrawing the original map with as few changes as possible to reflect population shifts. In effect, the entire debacle will end up as a win for Sununu, as the map he drew back in March was not all that dissimilar from the final map approved by the Court. The status quo will largely remain unchanged, and Republicans will still have longer than necessary odds of securing any Congressional seat in New Hampshire this November.

But even with the redistricting ordeal over, there remains the puzzling question of why Governor Sununu went to such lengths seemingly to protect Democratic incumbents, even to the point of twice vetoing legislation passed by a legislative body controlled by his own party. In both cases, Sununu seemed to be grasping for any rationale to oppose the measures, in the end simply resorting to the bald assertion that the second Republican map was “unfair” and that “the citizens of New Hampshire will not accept [the map].”

But just which citizens is Sununu referring to? With any decision made by elected officials, people of one political persuasion are likely to be pleased, while those of the opposite political persuasion are likely to be displeased. It was the voters of New Hampshire who elected a Republican legislature and a Republican governor. Presumably they would not have been incensed by the creation of a more competitive House district. Why should Republicans in New Hampshire accept the Court-drawn map after the Governor vetoed the map drawn by their elected representatives in the state legislature?

The conventional wisdom among GOP insiders is that Sununu is hoping to avoid the appearance of being too partisan in the purple state – potentially in preparation for a 2024 presidential bid.

If that is indeed the case, Sununu may do better to follow the lead of someone like Governor Glenn Youngkin in Virginia – a Republican leader of a far more left-leaning state who, instead of trying to play both sides, is unabashedly governing according to conservative principles and trusting that the voters of his state will support him. Currently, all Sununu is likely doing is alienating voters of his own party while failing to convince anyone else, Democrat or Independent, to support him or any other Republican. 

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_

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PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

As long as the people of New Hampshire continue to vote for RINO types, this is what you will get. Is anyone really surprised that a closet Democrat, which is what Governor Sununu is, would throw away every opportunity to get more balance in elected representation?

If the Republicans in the state want better outcomes, then they have to change who they choose to elect to office. There is no magic wand you can wave in the air to magically replace the job of the people of the state. Make better choices at the ballot box or settle for this type of “governance” from your elected state leader.

Boz
Boz
1 year ago

IiberaIs have all the bases covered, including rino sIeepers when needed.

Steve Weidert
Steve Weidert
1 year ago

What an ass.

R Bart
R Bart
1 year ago

Sununu is, and always has been, a RINO. So, what is changed?

tika
tika
1 year ago

he’s trying to hold onto just one thing, the taxpayer gravy train to oligarchy; say “Good-bye”, Chris. these thieves steal our tax money!

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

Chris Sununu”s policies do not “pass the smell test.”

Deploreable Sam
Deploreable Sam
1 year ago

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Get involved people, while you still can, IF you still can.
Oh yea, FJB… etc etc

Jeb
Jeb
1 year ago

Reality: ALL politicians are jockeying for positioning as the NWO grows stronger, doesn’t matter what party you believe in or what you personally believe in. This is all about saving your own arse and protecting the family. Think about it…they are afraid, very afraid.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

What RINOs always do

spenser maldrum
spenser maldrum
1 year ago

here in NH, he is like our own little version of Liz Cheney

HocasPocas
HocasPocas
1 year ago

We have a recount in PA for a senate seat between McCormick and Oz. I don’t think either one is a good choice. Unfortunately we will be stuck with one of the two.

Tracee Farmer
Tracee Farmer
1 year ago

If they don’t cheat they can’t win, period the end!

Bob Olden
Bob Olden
1 year ago

I could write 100 letters to politicians or I could spend that time praying. I think I’ll stick wit the latter.

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Hoping for a miracle to save the country is NOT a realistic strategy for success. People allowed the current situation to exist and only through a concerted effort by the people will it be corrected.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

It is all rigged and has been for years.

Phyl
Phyl
1 year ago

Amen. Humans can’t fix what humans caused but God can.

Christian
Christian
1 year ago

Sununu is poo poo. How was this not seen by NH voters?
RINOs (backstabbers) are worse than open Marxists Dimcrats.
It’s good to see who is poo poo so they can all be flushed along with their lefty bag of tricks.
NO Machine ballot counting / voting for any American election ever!

Gloria
Gloria
1 year ago

He’s either an Ultra RINO, or Obama is paying him off. Get rid of that RIINO A.S.A.P!!

Gloria
Gloria
1 year ago

Yes and pray like God told us to:” If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Art
Art
1 year ago

IT IS NEW ENGLAND– HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THE SONG “BLUE ON BLUE-HEARTACHE ON HEARTACHE”?????????? THIS WINGNUT RAN AND WON ON HIS FATHER’S REPUTATION. HE WORE A MASK TO THE DANCE. MOST FOLKS MUST HAVE DANCED WITH HIM. EVERYONE SHOULD VOTE AND SMARTLY. CAN YOU FIND A CANDIDATE THAT IS OF RELEVANCE??????

Gary
Gary
1 year ago

Will Republican “men” ever grow a pair ?

Old Silk
Old Silk
1 year ago

Will they ever get it?

Rick
Rick
1 year ago

Sununu just seems like a second generation Rino!

Garye
Garye
1 year ago

Exactly the problem, way to many so called republican politicians are just democrats in reality and vote and act as such.
Time for ALL marxist democrats and ALL rinos to go.
THROW THEM OUT

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

Sununu is a true son of his daddy : SWAMP RINO!

Barrett Smith
Barrett Smith
1 year ago

Is Sununu a close friend of Romney? Has there been any large cash deposits made to his bank account recently?

Hal
Hal
1 year ago

Sununu is just a cheap act playing to the DemocRats to defang them for future elections. He represents the worst type of person to serve as a public servant.

Dr. Nancy
Dr. Nancy
1 year ago

His dad was a RINO as well!

Cheryl Pokorny
Cheryl Pokorny
1 year ago

Thanks for this article! Being from New Hampshire, I was interested on your take of Governor Sununu. Personally, I don’t always agree with him, but I think he tries to please both sides. I have a friend that is currently a member of the NH House. She does not care for him. Now I understand why. She simply said he will lie to you right to your face.

Gabe
Gabe
1 year ago

What’s perplexing about this is he had no qualms signing a gerrymandered executive council map and legislative maps into law. What made this different? Likely higher profile.

Dave!
Dave!
1 year ago

The Sununu family is one of the reasons Democrats just walk all over Republicans. He’s made of the same substance as his father who incredibly recommended one of the worst Supreme Court justices ever: David Souter.

An awful addition to the court and a horrible political blunder.

Glen Martin
Glen Martin
1 year ago

One word explains this: “RINO” : Definition; A Democrat/Socialist maybe Communist who runs on the Republican ticket saying all the right words before election day.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
1 year ago

Whose side in Sununu on? This guy is yet another example of a “moderate Republican” who should be considered a democrat.

Something, Something
Something, Something
1 year ago

I guess if he wants to run on the Democratic ticket he has a chance. A pretty strange way to run as a candidate if you are Republican. I think you are supposed the party, not undermine it. What a joker.

Jay David
Jay David
1 year ago

The Sununu’s have always been arrogant jackasses. Daddy was lickspittle for Herbert Walker. They both tended to thwart Reagan.

Tom C.
Tom C.
1 year ago

Never underestimate the ability of the Republicans to alienate their own voters and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory! Watch how they screw up in November where they should
win a 60-70 vote house margin but will end up a paltry 30-40 seats just an average year! I’m
sure they will barely scrape by in the Senate with only +1-2 seats which the Democrats will promptly neutralize with fear and loathing against several turncoat GOP’ers! From there the Democrats will turn the USA into a dictatorship of the proletariat and we will run to Switzer-
land only free country left on earth.

spafon
spafon
1 year ago

I’m skeptical of how much it’s possible to screw up redistricting a state with two districts.

Rich
Rich
1 year ago

Another swamp rat? You wonder how many RHINO’s are benefiting by going to the dark side. Or, just politics as usual.

Ashlee
Ashlee
1 year ago

What did I just read? Bottom line is this putz is a paid for lacky of Soros and his Democrat slaves. Lets call a spade a spade here people, he is a RINO period!

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