Renee Plummer, standing over Jeb Bush at a recent business roundtable in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Jun 4, 2015 12:21 AM

Steinhauser: Latest round in the Plummer primary

NH1 Political Director -

PORTSMOUTH – John Kasich’s number nine.

Not the ninth Republican to announce for the GOP presidential nomination.

Instead, on Thursday the two-term Ohio governor and former congressman becomes the ninth 2016 White House contender to enter what can be described as the ‘Plummer primary’.

At Noon Kasich will be at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, speaking and taking questions at a business roundtable of Seacoast leaders organized by Renee Plummer, a leading GOP activist and vice president of Two International Group. She and her husband Danny played crucial roles in transforming the former Pease Air Force Base into a thriving business and industrial park.

Kasich becomes the eight Republican presidential contender to speak to the group, following Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. And former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who’s mulling a run for the Democratic presidential nomination, also headlined one of the roundtable events.

“We (Danny and I) have the perfect storm for these candidates,” Plummer told NH1 News. “The ‘New Hampshire’ conference room at One NH, the food, the tenants that ask the great questions.”

“There is no cost of admission for anyone,” Plummer added. “In New Hampshire, we don’t’ give money, we give votes.”

Besides hosting these candidate question and answer sessions, the Plummers have invited many of the contenders to their home.

Plummer says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Pataki have been to their condo for dinner, and she adds that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida’s coming for a breakfast.

Plummer, who moved to the Granite State from her native New York more than three decades ago, backed Sen. Bob Dole in the 1996 New Hampshire Republican primary. She supported then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in 2000 and Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008. Four years ago she endorsed former ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. The candidate, who was low down in the polls, ended up finishing third in the primary.

So what’s Plummer’s secret?

“She finds an event that works, and she does it over and over again,” longtime Granite State GOP consultant Tom Rath told NH1 News.

“With Renee, there’s never a question of her drive or her interest. She really gives herself to her project really well, and now it’s become a stop” for the candidates, added Rath, a former state attorney general who served as a top adviser to Mitt Romney in his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

“She’s also very eclectic in the people she puts in the room. She’s very thoughtful. She gets all kind of persuasions and types and styles. And I think her energy is boundless,” Rath said.

While long known in the Seacoast area and among Granite State political circles, Plummer received national attention earlier this year thanks to an in-depth article in Politico headlined “The Great Granite State Suck-Up.”


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