Nashua Represenative David Campbell has become the first Democrat to enter the race for Speaker for the next session of the New Hampshire House.
He joins lame duck incumbent Republican Bill O'Brien, and Exeter Republican Lee Quandt has suggested he might run as well.
Republicans Gene Chandler (former Speaker) and Lynn Uber Ober had sent out feelers about running, but both went on record--rather stupidly in my humble opinion--as saying they would not run if O'Brien survives his November race in the Mt. Vernon/New Boston area.
Most certainly, former Democrat Speaker Terie Norelli will run again.
If Democrats take control of the House, the Democratic caucus will most likely decide whether Campbell or Norelli (or some other Democrat) will be the next Speaker.
If Republicans maintain control by a slim margin, the Republican caucus could be meaningless as it was in 2004 when Republican Doug Scamman most assuredly received minimal GOP support (the vote is by secret ballot) but nearly unanimous Democratic support to defeat the late Mike Whalley.
In a close situation, enough Republicans would certainly join Democrats to deny the Speakership to O'Brien, but if Republicans have a slight edge, it would be difficult (although not impossible) to elect a Democrat. In that case, Quandt would most assuredly have a leg up on the wavering Chandler and Ober.
Of course, other candidates could well enter the field. Might it not, perhaps, be refreshing to have a Speaker dedicated to what is in the best interest of the House and the people of New Hampshire rather than to either party? Might it not be a good thing to elect a Speaker who would appoint the best and the brightest, whether Democrats or Republicans, as committee chairs? To elect a Speaker who would scrupulously apply the rules equally to all people?
Someone wake me up.
I was dreaming there for a while.
Campbell apparently sent an email only to Democrats; I did not receive it (or I would post it in its entirety here), but as always, I do have my sources.
Welcome aboard, Rep. Campbell...to quote the late great talk master Jerry Williams...he's not a bad guy. Plus he knows his baseball, and this after all, at least in this blog and on The Liberty Express, is "the summer of baseball". I'm reading the story of the 1912 pennant and the building of Fenway Park now. My guess is that Speaker Campbell has already read it.
It's actually one of my least favorite baseball books...so far...but hopefully it'll get better. It's very long.