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Andrew Hemingway says he’ll challenge Jennifer Horn for N.H. GOP chair

Tea Party activist Andrew Hemingway yesterday announced he’s running for chairman of the state Republican Party, setting up a challenge to former congressional candidate Jennifer Horn for the job.

“History has shown that New Hampshire is a better state when led by Republicans. Our Republican legislative leaders need a state committee that will promote their message effectively. Moreover, the voters deserve a chairman who is not afraid to hold Democrats accountable when they propose harmful legislation,” Hemingway said in a statement. “I provide a fresh face and new energy for the task of rebuilding the party.”

Hemingway, who lives in Bristol, runs a political-communications company, Digital Acumen. A former chairman of Bristol’s budget committee, he was chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire in 2010 and 2011, then ran Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign in the state ahead of January’s first-in-the-nation primary. Gingrich finished fifth, just behind Rick Santorum.

Chairman Wayne MacDonald, who took over the New Hampshire State Republican Committee last year after Jack Kimball resigned under pressure from party leaders, last week said he wouldn’t seek a full two-year term.

New Hampshire Republicans took big losses in the Nov. 6 election, and will meet Jan. 26 in Bedford to elect new officers. Horn and Hemingway are the only two candidates so far for party chair; Deering Selectman J.P. Marzullo is running for vice chairman.

Horn, a conservative activist from Nashua who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House in 2008 and 2010, announced last week she would run for state party chairwoman.

She’s rounded up support from much of the state’s GOP establishment for her campaign, including endorsements from U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, outgoing U.S. Reps. Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass, soon-to-be-ex-Speaker Bill O’Brien, Senate President Peter Bragdon and the state’s two Republican National Committee members, Steve Duprey and Juliana Bergeron.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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