A blend of veteran lawmakers and newcomers makeup the House Republican leadership team announced today by recently elected House Majority Leader Rep. D.J. Bettencourt of Salem. Rep. Shawn Jasper of Hudson, starting his ninth term at the State House, will serve as his Deputy Majority Leader. Jasper has served in a number of leadership roles during his tenure in Concord and will work closely with Bettencourt in establishing the Republican agenda.
“Rep. Jasper brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the majority office,” said Bettencourt. “He has earned the respect of our caucus over the years through his hard work and dedication to the legislative process and will be a tremendous asset to our team,” he added.
Bettencourt also named five assistant majority leaders to work with Rep. Jasper, including Reps. David Hess of Hooksett (11th term); Beverly Rodeschin of Newport (11th term); Edwin Smith of Hinsdale (7th term); Dick Drisko of Hollis (6th term); and Joe Fleck of Wakefield (2nd term).
Relative newcomer Rep. Peter Silva of Nashua, who distinguished himself in just his first term as a member of the House Judiciary committee, has been tapped by Bettencourt to serve as the Majority Whip. “I believe that it is important that we bring a mixture of both veteran legislators and newcomers onto our team. Rep. Silva impressed many of us as a first-year member last session and I know that he will bring a fresh prospective to the majority office,” said Bettencourt.
Rep. Betsey Patten of Moultonborough, also entering her ninth term in the House, will join the leadership team as the Deputy Majority Whip. In naming Patten, Bettencourt pointed to her experience as both a former committee chair and member of leadership. “I have seen first hand over the last few years how hard Rep. Patten works on legislation and I am excited to have her part of our leadership team.”
Joining Rep. Patten as Assistant Majority Whips are Reps. David Welch of Kingston (14th term); Mary Griffin of Windham (8th term); John Tholl of Whitefield (8th term); Mike McCarthy of Nashua (2nd term); Rep. Molly Smith of Hooksett (1st term).
Rep. Paul Mirski of Enfield, who returns for his sixth term following a four year absence from the House, has been named the Majority Policy Advisor to the leadership team. “Rep. Mirski is one of the most respected members of the Republican caucus and I will count heavily on his advice and counsel as we move forward in the legislative session,” said Bettencourt.
Finally, Reps. Phil Greazzo of Manchester and Michelle Peckham of North Hampton, both newcomers to the State House, will fill the role of Majority Freshman Liaison. “With such a large incoming freshmen class, it is important that they have a strong voice within the entire caucus. Both Reps. Greazzo and Peckham will work as liaisons between the freshmen caucus and leadership,” Bettencourt concluded.
Rep. Bettencourt will gather his leadership team this month to begin mapping out the coming session. It is anticipated that the Chair and Vice Chairs of the House standing committees will be announced later this month.