May 5, 2016 12:45 PM
Steinhauser: Latest spat between Trump's NH campaign and NHGOP is over; Lewandowski to serve as convention delegate chairman
NH1 News Political Director
CONCORD – Remember that ugly spat at the beginning of the week between top members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire and the state GOP.
Well, it seems to be all over now that Trump’s the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
On the eve of a vote for crucial committee assignments for delegates to the GOP’s presidential convention in July, NH1 News was first to report that Trump’s Granite State campaign chairman said he’s got the votes to pass a slate dominated by Trump delegates. And that proposed slate includes Trump’s national campaign manager, Windham resident Corey Lewandowski, as chairman of the state’s delegation to the Republican convention in Cleveland.
And the state party’s chair says she’ll back the proposed slate.
The state’s 23-member delegation will gather Friday morning at the NHGOP headquarters in Concord, or via phone, to vote for the delegation chair and the committee assignments. The meeting was called by state party chair Jennifer Horn after she cancelled a vote over the weekend and into Monday morning by email. The first vote was scrubbed after angry complaints from Trump supporters over the slate proposed by the state party, which didn’t include a single Trump delegate. Trump supporters also complained over the last minute announcement of the state party slate, which was made over the weekend, and they questioned the validity of a vote via email.
Since the fireworks on Sunday and Monday, Trump convincingly won Indiana’s crucial Republican primary on Tuesday, which led to both Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to end their bids for the White House. That left Trump the last candidate standing.
The Trump slate
Besides Lewandowski as delegation chairman, longtime RCN committeeman Steve Duprey is listed on Trump state for the convention’s Rules Committee. With the Rules Committee holding jurisdiction over the primary calendar, it makes sense that Duprey, who’s served many years on the national party’s Rules Committee and who has long led efforts to keep New Hampshire first-in-the-nation, would be included in the convention’s Rules Committee.
Trump’s N.H. chairman, state Rep. Steve Stepanek, told NH1 News that Duprey was put on the convention Rules committee on the Trump proposed slate “so he can continue his valiant efforts to make sure that we stay the first-in-the-nation primary.
Stepanek is slated for the Platform Committee, along with the other New Hampshire member of the RNC, committeewoman Juliana Bergeron.
Stepanek told NH1 News he had the support of not only all 11 Trump delegates, but also Bergeron and Duprey. And with a couple of delegates pledged to other candidates not expected to take part in the vote, it’s expected the Trump slate should easily pass.
“She worked very hard with me to put this slate together,” Stepanek said. “Her experience and knowledge will be invaluable at the convention in working with the national party.”
The remaining assignments all go to Trump delegates. Stepanek joins Bergeron on the Platform Committee and his wife, Ellen Suprunowicz-Stepanek, joins Duprey on the Rules Committee.
State Repl Al Baldasaro and his wife Judy are slated for the Credentials Committee, with state Rep. Fred Doucette and Paula Johnson on the Permanent Organization Committee.
Stepanek told NH1 News that “at this point time our goal in New Hampshire is to get all the Republicans on the same page. Fred and I are going work real hard to unite all Republicans behind Donald Trump and that not only does Trump win in New Hampshire but Kelly Ayotte wins and that we have two Republican congressmen and keep control of the state Senate and House. And by God, we’d love to get a Republican in the Corner Office.”
No more calls for Horn to step down
On Monday Stepanek was calling for Horn to resign. Stepanek, who’s criticized Horn in the past, said "Jennifer Horn’s sick obsession with Donald Trump is detrimental for the Republican Party."
"I believe, as I’ve called on many times, that she Is not somebody who’s fair and impartial and I think her judgement is being clouded by her obsession with Donald Trump and I think she should step down as party chair person."
Asked on Thursday if he still thought Horn should resign, Stepanek instead talked about party unity.
Horn put out a statement on Thursday saying “the voters in New Hampshire have spoken, and they have selected Donald Trump and the Republican nominee for President of the United States. I want to congratulate Mr. Trump on his victory and look forward to working with his team to unify our party.”
“I have been in touch with Mr. Trump’s campaign leadership about our delegation to the 2016 Republican National Convention and expressed my strong desire to have Steve Duprey appointed to the influential Rules Committee. Steve has been a tireless defender of the First-In-The-Nation Primary, and it is in the best interests of every Granite State Republican that he continue his efforts to preserve our status for the 2020 campaign and beyond. I am pleased that the slate proposed by Mr. Trump’s delegates awards Steve a seat on the rules committee, and look forward to a productive delegation meeting at NHGOP headquarters tomorrow. Republicans are ready to unite and work together to help our Republican ticket win in November."
A source close to the state party told NH1 News that "Donald trump is the likely presumptive nominee of the Republican Party which means these sort of contests over who’s going to have what committee positions, and not just in New Hampshire but across the country, are now much less relevant to the process because we have a likely presumptive nominee."
New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn speaks with NH1 News
State Rep. Steve Stepanek, the New Hampshire chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, speaks with NH1 News