Money, It's a Gas
We now know that New Hampshire businessman Bill Binnie is serious about making a run in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Recently released campaign finance totals show Binnie rounding up a respectable number of donors for someone who has largely been on the periphery of the race until now, and demonstrating a willingness to kick in a serious chunk of change from his own personal fortune.
I continue to believe that the prevailing dynamic in the Republican primary will be a competition to claim the mantle of preferred alternative to former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte. So, while we may see Binnie run ads to soften up Ayotte a bit, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go after Ovide Lamontagne with as much, if not more, energy. All of this would have to be part of a broader strategy to significantly increase his name recognition.
I recently found myself standing in WMUR-TV’s waiting room with Mr. Binnie, which provided me with an impromptu opportunity to chat with him in-person about his campaign plans. Binnie is still a relative political unknown in comparison to Ayotte and Lamontagne, but he struck me as a serious candidate with a pretty compelling biography, one which underscores his focus on fiscal conservatism and managerial competence.
While I’m withholding final judgment until I have had more time to observe Binnie on the campaign trail, and in head-to-head match-ups with the other candidates, we could potentially end up with a real three-way race on our hands. The wild card in all this (in addition to Binnie's willingness to self-finance) is the potential negative impact of his pro-choice and pro-gay marriage stances on New Hampshire’s Republican primary electorate.
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