Andrew Hemingway has become the first New Hampshire Republican to announce a 2014 run against Democratic incumbent governor Maggie Hassan. The conservative activist and self-described “political technology entrepreneur” from Bristol made his declaration to a crowd of about 100 people in Manchester on Thursday evening.
Calling Hassan “a status quo” governor, Hemingway outlined his platform on the policies of economic development (“workers first”), health care, and education. He drew cheers when he called for health care policy “without federal dollars and federal priorities.” On education, he promised “we will embrace school choice.” Someone in the crowd called out “what about Common Core?” “No to Common Core,” he replied, to more cheers.
In an interview after his announcement, he talked about mobilizing voters who were discouraged in 2012. “I’d just tell them elections have consequences. The liberal media want you to believe that your vote doesn’t count. Believe me, it does.”
On hand to endorse Hemingway were Rep. Pam Tucker (R-Greenland), former deputy speaker of the New Hampshire House; former state senator Jim Luther; and Joe Kenney, former state senator and current Executive Council candidate.
Hemingway, 31, was director of campaign operations for Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign effort in New Hampshire. In 2010-2011, he was chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. He is founder and CEO of Digital Acumen, a technology firm specializing in political communications.
A spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party issued a statement shortly after Hemingway’s announcement, calling him “an infamous Tea Party leader” with “extreme ideology.” New Hampshire Democrats currently hold the governor’s office, a majority on the Executive Council, two Congressional seats, one U.S. Senate seat, and a majority in the state house of representatives.
The filing period for state races is in early June, with primaries scheduled for September.