Tuesday’s Republican primary in New Hampshire resulted in big wins for establishment candidates and smaller victories for liberty-minded candidates seeking positions as state senators, representatives and executive councilors. The democratic primary did not exhibit a level of division among candidates as in the Republican primary. The most notable division was particularly in the GOP gubernatorial, US Senate and Congressional primaries.
Walt Havenstein won the gubernatorial primary with 55.4%, claiming victory over grassroots favorite Andrew Hemingway. Hemingway received 37.4% of the vote despite a small budget, producing no TV or radio ads, and no flyers mailed to voters.
Scott Brown won the primary for US Senate with 50.1% of the votes. Jim Rubens, who experienced a surge in the polls just before the primary, was second with 23.1% and Bob Smith came third with 22.6%.
Although Smith, Rubens and seven other candidates divided the remainder of votes, that remainder illustrated that 50% of voters did not support Brown. The Stark360 PAC raised about $200,000 to encourage voters to support candidates other than Brown.
Following the results, Rubens criticized the media’s coverage of the primary, saying that “The media is failing voters. You are leaving us blind. The victim is truth and an empowered citizenship, our single defense against bad government. There’s almost no coverage of debate over key issues which New Hampshire takes full form during campaigns like this one. We hear about opinion polls, money, but rarely sufficient substance or objective analysis.”
On Friday, the NHGOP’s post-primary “Unity Breakfast” attempted to rally the winners and runners-up to defeat Democrats in the general election. Keynote speaker Rand Paul (R-KY) gave a speech to less-than-enthusiastic attendees that included a call to repeal Obamacare, saying it’s “not about health care policy and a lot of wonky stuff, it’s about freedom versus coercion.” Paul also told the crowd that the 2nd Amendment is impossible to protect without also protecting the 4th Amendment, echoing his Senate.gov page that states “If we are not free from unreasonable and warrantless searches, no one’s guns are safe.”
Following the breakfast, Paul endorsed Brown at the University of New Hampshire. Paul, an advocate of civil liberties and the 2nd Amendment and an active critic of government overreach from agencies such as the IRS, Homeland Security, the Federal Reserve and the TSA, offered no specifics of Brown’s credentials other than “He’s right there and can win.”
Brown has been criticized in the past for supporting anti-gun laws and has made no statements supporting the 4th Amendment or criticizing unconstitutional government power, which could make Paul’s endorsement of Brown even more confusing than his 2012 endorsement of Mitt Romney.
Rubens also endorsed Brown as well.
Although establishment-backed figures claimed victory in the gubernatorial, Senate and Congressional primaries, there were many liberty candidates for state Senate, House Of Representatives and Executive Councilor who were also able to claim victory.
Runs for smaller positions are less publicized than larger, nationally-recognized campaigns, which resulted in a need for guidance before heading to the voting booth. Liberty Ballot, an online service that showed pre-filled sample ballots recommending liberty candidates, offered voters direction by researching each candidate. New Hampshire Liberty Alliance also offered similar recommendations for candidates. Several dozen recommended candidates won their primaries, which softened the blow of an otherwise disappointing primary.