Jul 14, 2015 5:43 PM
Embattled Congressman Frank Guinta is not resigning and is expected to seek re-election in 2016. Today his main Republican rival from 2014 takes a big step towards a rematch. NH1 News goes one on one with Portsmouth businessman and educator Dan Innis.
"I think I’ve matured as a candidate and I’m looking forward to getting my message out,’’ Innis says during interview.
After six months in the role, Innis resigns as Republican Party finance chairman to explore a second bid in the First District.
"I felt that if I was going to explore a run for Congress, that would be a bit of a conflict of interest to be involved in the party at that level,’’ Innis said.
Innis opts not to join a chorus of GOP leaders Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senate President Chuck Morse and House Speaker Shawn Jasper all who say Guinta should quit after the Federal Election Commission settlement requires Guinta repay his parents $350,000 loaned to his 2010 campaign.
"I really can’t say what he should do. That is entirely his decision,’’ Innis continued.
Guinta told Political Director Paul Steinhauser he won’t rush a campaign re-election kickoff.
“That wouldn’t be until next year, which is the typical standard time when I would do something like that,’’ Guinta said.
For his part, Innis says he will make a final decision later this fall or early winter about a 2016 campaign.
"It’ll be a very different campaign this time; it will be run differently, it will be managed differently, I will approach it differently,’’ Innis said.
Last fall, Innis got 41 percent against Guinta seeking to be the first, openly-gay Republican in New Hampshire to win a major nomination.
"I hope it's not the story issue. To me it's the issues, you know what's important to voters,’’ Innis said.
While the economic recover is not robust, Innis said national security and keeping the US border safe is currently the "number one issue.''
While Innis left the party post, he will remain on the University of New Hampshire business school faculty through next spring.
Other Republicans said to be considering their own 2016 bid include State Rep. and former House Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker, R-Greenland and BAE Systems executive Rich Ashooh of Bedford.
Ex-Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter has called on Guinta to quit and would run in a special election to replace him. She’s left open going after Guinta to seek a record, fourth showdown in 2016.
Bedford Democrat Shawn O’Connor is already seeking the Democratic nomination.
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