John DiStaso's Granite Status: Guinta hires Salem native Ruais as campaign manager
THURSDAY, JAN. 30: GUINTA'S NEW MANAGER. Republican 1st District U.S. House candidate and former congressman Frank Guinta has a new campaign manager.
Jay Ruais, a former Guinta congressional aide, will join the campaign in mid-February.
The campaign said Ruais worked in Guinta's congressional office and was field manager for his run for Congress in 2010.
A Salem native, he also worked on former Sen. John E. Sununu's reelection campaign in 2008 (Sununu lost to Jeanne Shaheeen that year) and has recently been in the private sector "on behalf of small and large freight brokerages around the country," the campaign said.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Ruais last year was a lobbyist for the Transportation Intermediaries Association.
(Earlier Granite Status reports follow.)
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 29: GUINTA'S LISTENING TOUR. In his first high-profile campaign activity, Frank Guinta next week will begin a "health care listening tour" to listen to and discuss with health care professionals, seniors and other Granite Staters what he views as the failure of Obamacare.
Guinta, a Republican who is running to regain the 1st District U.S. House seat he held before losing in 2012, will visit hospitals in the district excluded from the state's network under the Affordable Care Act.
Guinta will begin with a visit to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester and will also visit senior centers and businesses affected by the health care law.
His campaign says he'll hear from professionals, patients and clients about the "solutions needed to fix the broken health care system."
Guinta will visit Frisbie Hospital on Feb. 5 from 2 to 3 p.m. It is among the 10 hospitals excluded from the state network by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's network.
Additional planned stops include the Londonderry Senior Center on Feb. 11; Portsmouth Regional Hospital on Feb. 17; the Dover Community Center on Feb. 26; Core Physicians at Exeter Hospital, March 5; and Parkland Hospital, March 12.
"Obamacare offers New Hampshire residents plans they don't want, don't need and can't afford," Guinta says in a statement.
"Thousands of Granite Staters have lost their health insurance, access to hospitals in their backyard while their premiums skyrocket. It is long past time to focus on solutions to decrease costs and increase access to health care. Obamacare has failed New Hampshire."
Guinta is running in a Republican primary against former UNH business school dean Dan Innis, while Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is seeking reelection.
Guinta's campaign said, "Granite Staters deserve a health care system that offers access to health insurance that won't bankrupt them, offers choice and easy access to health care services they need. Obamacare offers none of this. Solutions are within our grasp if Washington politicians would simply listen to those they represent and implement policies consistent with the needs of their constituents."
(An earlier Granite Status report follows.)
TUESDAY, JAN. 28: HELP FROM MITT. As speculation swirls that maybe -- just maybe -- Mitt Romney could be convinced to run for President for a third time, he's reaching out to Granite Staters again.
We've learned a fund-raising letter from Romney on behalf of the state Republican Party arrived in mailboxes today.
The two-page letter has Romney recalling his announcement for President on former New Hampshire House Speaker Douglas Scamman's farm in Stratham in 2012, his appearances at Amherst's July 4 parade, at the Exeter Town Hall and "countless other coffee shops, business and living rooms."
He recalls his New Hampshire primary win in 2012 and then asks for donations to the NHGOP for the upcoming "pivotal" U.S. Senate race as well as for the U.S. House and governor.
He wrote that when he spoke at a NHGOP fund-raiser last August, he promised to do "would do whatever I could to help."
State GOP Chair Jennifer Horn said that New Hampshire "has always been a special place for Governor Romney and he has been an extremely strong supporter of our party. New Hampshire Republicans appreciate his continued leadership and look forward to having him back in the Granite State in the future."
Although Romney has repeatedly said he has no interest in running for President again, mostly positive responses to the new Netflix documentary about him and the recent issues facing establishment Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have some strategists and columnist speculating about the possibility.
The Romney letter to first-in-the-nation primary Republicans will do nothing to quell that speculation.
(See earlier Granite Status reports elsewhere on this page or by clicking on "Granite Status" above.)