Jokingly, when I finally got to see Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas after the big announcement last week, I said, “Thanks for leaving me with not just egg, but an entire omelet on my face.”
That was of course a reference to my continuing prediction that Gatsas would in fact be the state’s next governor and his decision not to run.
Ted explains that he reached the decision a week ago Sunday night while signing thousands of honor roll letters for Manchester students. He apparently decided that he still has a lot of work to finish in Manchester, but why did I get the feeling that he’s already regretting the decision?
Perhaps because when I told him the filing period wasn’t until June, he didn’t react by affirming, “Oh, no, no, I’ve made my decision.”
I’m not about to say he’ll change his mind, but I’m more convinced than ever that big bucks will get behind a Republican for Governor whose name isn’t Ovide or Kevin. In fact, on my second stop of the afternoon (this is NOT from Ted Gatsas but a high powered Republican insider), I was told that at a recent meeting in Portsmouth, a check for five hundred thousand dollars was slid across the table to a potential GOP candidate.
Lacking the instinct of a reporter, I didn’t ask whom the check was made out to. I’m not sure my source would have told me, but he or she can always blog in here should he or she so desire.
Many, many moderate Republicans who could never vote for either Ovide or Kevin Smith are waiting.
Yes, I admit to being one of them.
At the Jim Demers CHAD St. Patty’s Day celebration earlier this week, I tried to quickly sit down and avoid the glad handing, but as Rep Irene Messier’s escprt, I had to follow her, and Ovide asked me, “Now that Ted isn’t running, would you support me?”
Would I lie?
Of course not. Hint, hint. My one word answer contains only two letters.
That would be capital N, Capital O, "NO"..
I moved along before Ovide could ask me whom I would now support, but I had an answer ready had he asked it as I was making my way to less than succulent corned beef.
It would not have been kind, but when have I been known to be kind.
It would have been three words, “Anybody but you.”
Don’t get me wrong. I like Ovide LaMontagne. From all indications, he is a very very nice man, but he’s far more socially conservative than I am (and probably not even as fiscally conservative as I am). As passionate as I am for getting government spending under control, I’m equally passionate about government not usurping individual freedoms, whether it be the right of any human being to marry whomever he or she chooses or the right of any human being to smoke any unhealthy substance he or she chooses.
I really should have asked who’ll be on the receiving end of that $500,000 largesse.
Will it be someone who doesn’t drag the Republican Party to the far right on social issues? I hope so because I’m as prepared to vote for the Libertarian candidate as I was last time (if I haven’t admitted it before, I will now—I didn’t vote for John Stephen).
People like me make a difference. Any Republican candidate who loses too many people like me will not capture the corner office. I always like to think—would Irene Messier vote for this guy? Would Neal Kurk vote for this guy?
With Ovide, my guess is Neal probably would, but neither Irene nor I would. Irene may not be as blunt as I am in saying “NO” when asked, but I doubt that many pro choice or pro gay marriage Republicans could vote for either Ovide or Kevin Smith. I could certainly never vote for Maggie Hassan or Jackie Cilley either, but there may well be another Democrat to enter the field, and there’s always—hopefully there will be—the fall back position of John Babiarz.
Warning to Republicans—nominate a far right winger on social issues--and enough of us will flee so that a sure thing (Republican winning the race) will no longer be such a sure thing.
Sorry Ovide, just telling it like it is.
Message to His Honor—there’s still time to reconsider. We love you. The state needs you.