NH is Ron Paul Country
State had the highest percentage of residents vote for the GOP candidate.
For journalists who covered the New Hampshire Primary, it's no surprise that Ron Paul has a huge base of support here in the Granite State.
Even so, it was a bit surprising to see a recent post on the New Hampshire Freedom blog that said New Hampshire had the highest percentage of state population to vote for Paul. And it wasn't even close.
According to the blog, New Hampshire ranked number one with 4.3 percent of residents voting for Paul. That's almost double second place Vermont, which came in at 2.4 percent. And in Vermont and other states, all voters are allowed to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary, which isn't the case here in New Hampshire.
Paul's followers are such diehards that many are still refusing to hop on the Mitt Romney train, even though the Massachusetts governor has wrapped up the Republican nomination.
Kate Schackai, Paul's New Hampshire spokeswoman during the primary, said the news comes as no surprise to her.
"New Hampshire is very independent-minded, frugal, peaceful, and serious about respecting individuals' rights," she said. "As a result, I think voters here were inclined to hear Dr. Paul out, and really consider how federal government spending and policy have gotten us into an economic mess."
She also pointed out that several members of Paul's New Hampshire team, including Jared Chicoine and Jordan Brown, worked in Vermont as well, which may have been a factor in why Paul received so much support there.
O'Keefe backs out
Last week in this column, we told you that James O'Keefe was scheduled to return to New Hampshire to speak at yesterday's Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers picnic. Well, that never happened. The organization sent out a press release on Thursday saying that O'Keefe "had to cancel due to a scheduling error."
This now marks the second time that O'Keefe has failed to appear at a New Hampshire event in recent months. He was supposed to be the keynote speaker at a Rye Republican Town Committee fundraiser in May, but wound up appearing via Skype because he was afraid he would be subpoenaed if he actually stepped foot in the state.
Let the debates begin
There are two gubernatorial debates on tap this week.
On Wednesday, the Granite State Institute of Politics will host a debate between Republican gubernatorial candidates Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith at the Radisson in Manchester. The debate starts at 7 p.m.
Then on Thursday at noon, WMUR will host a debate between the two GOP gubernatorial candidates at Franklin Pierce University.
The Seacoast Republican Women have also announced that they will hold a debate between Lamontagne and Smith on July 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the New Castle Recreation Center at 301 Wentworth Road in New Castle.
Stay tuned to Patch for full coverage of all three Republican gubernatorial debates.
Vets for Ovide
Speaking of Lamontagne, his campaign released an impressive list of veterans who will be part of his Veterans for Ovide streeting committee. There were more than 100 names in all, including many from local towns.
Included on the list were Bob Allard of Portsmouth, Lynne Ferrari-Blankenbeker, Eric Letendre, R. James Steiner and Sam Cohen of Concord, John Cebrowski, Ken Hawkins and John Graham of Bedford, Louis Cizmadia of Windham, Cheri Cywinski, Don LeBrun, Bill Joransen and Griffin Dalianis of Nashua, Dave Dalrymple of Salem, Gary Gahan and Dick Hinch of Merrimack, and Chris Nevins of Hampton.
"When I returned from my tour as a Navy nurse in Afghanistan earlier this year, Ovide was among the first to welcome me home," said Ferrari-Blankenbecker, the coalition's co-chair. "Since my return we have had a number of conversations about veterans issues in our state and it is obvious to me he understands the needs of our community."
Is Romney still eyeing Ayotte for VP?
The speculation about who Romney will pick as his running mate continues, with names like Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rob Portman getting a lot of mention lately.
Kelly Ayotte also remains a possibility. Many in the media tried to make something out of the fact that she appeared with Romney in Wolfeboro on Wednesday. They've also speculated about Portman's appearance in Concord last night.
Ayotte may have received a bit of a boost when Ann Romney revealed last week that Romney is considering choosing a woman as his running mate.
"We've been looking at that. I'd love that option as well," Ann Romney told CBS News. "So, you know, there's a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now."
I declare a Twitter war!
Most of the media covering Wednesday's Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro described the interactions between Romney supporters and the Obama for America crowd as fairly civil.
But that wasn't the case on Twitter, where New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley and Romney staffer Jim Merrill engaged in a bit of a war of words. The focus was mostly on who had the bigger crowd of supporters.
Buckley criticized the size of Romney's crowd, and he and Democratic 1st District Congressional candidate Carol Shea-Porter both suggested that Romney had bused in people from out of town.
Merrill, meanwhile, described Romney's crowd as "enormous," and Tweeted a photo of a small group of Obama supporters marching in the parade as evidence of their lack of support.