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Horn's challenge: Leading the NH GOP


Jennifer Horn was elected on Saturday to the most thankless job in New Hampshire politics: chairman of the state Republican Committee. Congratulations, we think.

Since 2000, the New Hampshire Republican Party has gone through more chairmen than the Red Sox have gone through Opening Day starting pitchers. Each chairman enters with hope and a call for unity, only to leave amid factional divisions, blame and finger-pointing. (Outgoing chairman Wayne McDonald has escaped the finger-pointing because he filled the position temporarily after the resignation of Jack Kimball and made no play for power.)

Horn, a conservative activist and the 2008 Republican nominee for Congress in the Second District, has the energy and fight to give the state Democratic Party a robust challenge during her term. The question is whether her own party will unify behind her.

The state committee voted this past weekend not to pay Horn a salary, which her counterpart in the state Democratic Party enjoys. Horn will be expected to raise massive amounts of money, revive the party's electoral prospects, aggressively challenge the Democrats on a daily basis, be the public face and voice of the party and help protect the presidential primary - all on a part-time, volunteer basis. Without the support of a unified party, it is a project doomed to failure.

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