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John DiStaso's Granite Status: 2012 VP nominee Paul Ryan to return to NH in October to campaign for Guinta

By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter
September 19. 2013 11:15AM

FRIDAY, SEPT. 20. RYAN'S RETURN. Republican sources confirm that 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee and U.S. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan is scheduled to come to New Hampshire in October to campaign for former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta.

Guinta hasn't yet formally announced for the 1st District seat he won in 2010 and lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in 2012, but the Ryan visit makes it clear that he will run -- with an announcement expected soon.

It will be Ryan's first visit to the state since the 2012 general election campaign and will show that Guinta has the blessing of the GOP House establishment as he enters a likely primary against outsider Dan Innis, the outgoing dean of the UNH business school (see item below).

(FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE:) Ryan, in fact, officially endorsed Guinta this afternoon, issuing this statement to the Granite Status:

"The people of New Hampshire were very hospitable to my family last fall, and I'm looking forward to the visit.

"I'm proud to support Congressman Guinta, who will work to pay down our debt and help grow the economy."

Guinta, while in Congress, was a member of the House Budget Committee, which Ryan chairs.

Ryan has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender himself in 2016 but is immediately focused on maintaining Republican control of the House in the mid-term elections.

Due to tight scheduling, there are no plans for Ryan to also campaign for Republcian 2nd District U.S. House candidate Gary Lambert when he is in the state, according to sources.

(An earlier Granite Status report follows.)

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 18: INNIS RESIGNING FROM UNH. Dan Innis of Portsmouth is stepping down as dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire and is expected to announce in several weeks that he is a candidate for the 1st District U.S. House seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.

Innis, 50, a Republican, has been rumored to be considering a run against the incumbent Democrat for the past several months. Some Republicans tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to talk Innis into running for the U.S. Senate.

Innis joined UNH in 2007 and previously was dean of the business school at the University of Maine. He has also been an associate dean of the Ohio University business college and in the 1980s was an assistant operations analyst for the Warner-Lambert Company of New Jersey.

If Innis runs for Congress, it will be his first venture into elective politics. He would presumably be taking on former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta in a Republican primary. His resignation from UNH is effective Nov. 1.

Guinta, who lost to Shea-Porter in 2012 after defeating her in 2010, has been informally exploring another run for the 1st District seat and is expected to make an announcement within the next several weeks as well.

Peter Paul, the prominent GOP donor and philanthropist who donated $25 million toward the establishment of the business school in his name, is backing Innis' likely run for Congress.

Paul, who "maxed out" in donations totaling $5,000 for Guinta in 2012, said, "Under Dan's leadership UNH educated thousands of future business leaders, expanded outreach to local businesses and oversaw the building and opening of a multi-million dollar capital improvement project. I know first-hand that Dan has the experience and skill set to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington and get America working again.

"If Dan Innis runs for U.S. Congress he will have my full support," Paul said.

Innis said, "It has been a pleasure to grow and improve business education at UNH for the past six years. UNH business graduates are an important economic engine for our state and region and I am proud to have played a role in their development.

"Now that my time as dean is coming to a close I have been encouraged to run for Congress by my family and friends and I plan to make my decision in the next couple of weeks," said Innis, who is a married gay man.

(See earlier Granite Status reports elsewhere on this page or by clicking on "Granite Status" above.)

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