CONCORD — The New Hampshire GOP Executive Committee made a staffing change Monday night, installing Elliot Gault, a Gov. Chris Sununu staffer, as its new executive director.

Since July 2017, Gault has been director of appointments for Sununu, acting as the staff liaison to the state Executive Council.

In 2016, he headed up the grassroots staffing and volunteer field campaign for the reelection of then-Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, who narrowly lost to Democrat Maggie Hassan.

Gault had earlier worked on Ayotte’s Senate staff.

Todd Cheewing was executive director for the NH GOP through the 2018 election cycle and agreed to stay on until the new chairman Stephen Stepanek recommended a permanent replacement.

“Elliot is going to do a great job; he’s the perfect choice and I think he’ll be terrific at it,” Cheewing said during a telephone interview.

“This is my third stint working for the NH GOP. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

The NH GOP Executive Committee approved the staff change at a business meeting Monday night.

The move also signals a desire by Sununu to take more control over the state party apparatus.

After winning his first term in 2016, Sununu promoted former State Sen. Jeanie Forrester of Meredith, who had run against Sununu in that GOP primary, as the next party boss.

Last June Forrester abruptly resigned from the party post to become town administrator in Tilton.

Vice Chairman Wayne MacDonald of Derry was promoted to the top post, but the party, disorganized and nearly broke, lost badly to Democrats in the midterm elections.

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