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Dec 3, 2014 5:05 PM

GOP Rep. Jasper defeats O'Brien for Speaker of the House

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) - Rep. Shawn Jasper of Hudson will be the next speaker of the New Hampshire House, after mounting a last-minute challenge to former speaker and fellow Republican Rep. Bill O'Brien.

The Republican caucus nominated O'Brien as its choice for speaker last month, but he was unable to secure a majority of the full House Wednesday to win. Jasper then emerged as an alternative, ultimately securing a win after six hours of debate.

Jasper's decision to challenge O'Brien reveals fractures within the Republican party, which could make it harder for the party to achieve its legislative goals. Democratic Rep. Steve Shurtleff also ran for the job.

Jasper says Republicans deserve a speaker who respects everyone. O'Brien previously led the House with a confrontational style but had pledged to do differently if re-elected.

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