By Reid Wilson - 10/20/09 10:00 AM EDT
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is heading to New Hampshire, site of the first primary contest in the presidential sweepstakes.
But Boehner isn’t humming “Hail to the Chief” just yet. The top Republican in the House will headline a fundraiser for the state GOP on Nov. 13, while the national party dreams of picking up two House seats it lost during the Democratic wave of 2006.
Meanwhile, former Rep. Charlie Bass (R) is seeking the House seat he lost in the 2006 cycle. Bass, a noted centrist, will take on a few conservatives in the state’s primary and will likely face political consultant Katrina Swett (D) or attorney Ann McLane Kuster (D) in November. They are running to replace Rep. Paul Hodes (D), who is campaigning for the Senate.
Boehner is not the only major Republican figure to head to New Hampshire of late. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), a longtime friend of state party Chairman John H. Sununu, visited the state earlier this year.
Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the state GOP, did not know if Sununu and Boehner had known each other for a while, but he said Boehner’s presence would help the state party win back seats next year.
“Gov. Sununu extended a personal invitation to Rep. Boehner, and we’re grateful he accepted,” Williams said.