November 7, 2013

N.H. Republicans hire Christie aide

The party says the hiring will not give the N.J. governor any advantages in the key primary state.

By Steve Peoples
The Associated Press

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — The New Hampshire Republican Party is hiring a new executive director with strong ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The state party announced the hiring of Christie’s regional political director Matt Mowers on Wednesday, the day after the Republican governor won a blowout re-election as he weighs a 2016 presidential bid.

Mowers was responsible for managing Christie’s political operations in eight New Jersey counties. He has worked for the Christie administration since 2010.

“New Hampshire Republicans have an enormous opportunity to make significant gains in 2014 if they focus on the traditional Granite State principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility,” Mowers said a statement.

He did not mention New Hampshire’s traditional role for vetting presidents as the first state in the nation to host a presidential primary.

A spokesman for the state party said the hiring would not give Christie any advantages ahead of the 2016 contest should he decide to run. Prospective Republican candidates have already begun to visit New Hampshire to court activists.

“Matt got the job because he was the most qualified candidate for the position,” spokesman Ryan Williams said. “The New Hampshire Republican Party always stays neutral in every race. We’re focused on winning in 2014, not the presidential race in 2016.”

The New Hampshire GOP also hired a new field director, Bobby Collins, who served in the same role for the Republican Party of Virginia during the state’s recent gubernatorial race.

State party chairwoman Jennifer Horn described both hires as “seasoned and experienced professionals.”

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