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Speaker draws heavily from Freedom Caucus for new leadership team

By DAVE SOLOMON
State House Bureau

December 14. 2017 12:55AM
GENE CHANDLER 



CONCORD — House Speaker Gene G. Chandler, R-Bartlett, said he would form an inclusive leadership team that recognized the contributions of the conservative Freedom Caucus and House Republican Alliance.

On Wednesday he delivered, appointing Republicans from both caucuses to top leadership positions.

Chandler was recently elected to replace Speaker Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson, who stepped down to become Commissioner of Agriculture.

“When I ran to be elected speaker, I promised to retain the current leadership, including current chairs and vice chairs, and I have done that,” said Chandler. “I also promised to add to that leadership and bring more members into the fold.”

Former Speaker Pro-Tempore Sherm Packard, R-Hudson, in his 14th term, will serve as deputy speaker, while Rep. Barbara Griffin, R-Goffstown, in her second term, will serve as speaker pro-tempore.

Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, Rep. Laurie Sanborn, R-Bedford, and Rep. Victoria Sullivan, R-Manchester, will serve as assistant majority leaders.

Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, and Rep. Greg Hill, R-Northfield, will serve as assistant majority whips, while Rep. Andrew Renzullo, R-Hudson will serve as floor leader.

Chandler also announced the formation of a 13-member Policy Advisory Committee, chaired by Sanborn with Bates as vice chairman.

Sanborn was the closest competitor to Chandler in the election for House Speaker last month, and is a co-chairman of the House Republican Alliance, which bills itself as the longest-running and largest conservative caucus in the House.

Bates, Hill, Renzullo and Sullivan are all active in the Freedom Caucus, which played a significant role in tying up the House Finance Committee budget in the last session.

Chandler also announced the creation of a 13-member Policy Advisory Committee, chaired by Sanborn with Bates as vice chairman.

Also on the Policy Advisory Committee are Freedom Caucus members Andy Renzullo, R-Hudson, Lino Avellini, R-Sanbornville, John Burt, R-Goffstown, Peter Hansen, R-Amherst, and Frank McCarthy, R-Conway, among others.

This committee will be meeting on a weekly basis to review upcoming legislation and hearings, review bills and amendments, and give their input on various issues.

Majority Leader Rep. Dick Hinch (R- Merrimack); Deputy Majority Leader Rep. John Graham (R-Bedford); and Majority Whip Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel (R-Raymond) all retain their current leadership positions.

dsolomon@unionleader.com


State Government


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