Publisher's Note: The field clears
By Jody Reese
Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, a Republican, is unlikely to have a lot of competition in the Republican party if he decides to run for governor against Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat. Salem resident Chuck Morse, a former state senator, has bowed out, leaving state Senator Joe Kenney as the only remaining Republican in the race.
While Guinta may ultimately decide against running for governor for many reasons, including having a young family or because there are still a lot of loose threads in Manchester to take care of, his running in 2008 makes a lot of political sense.
Lynch is still quite popular and would be an odds-on favorite to win. But winning isn’t always winning. If Lynch were to beat Guinta by less than 10 percent, Guinta would have an excellent case for running again and might be able to keep the Rebublican field clear until he can run again against Lynch in 2010, if Lynch chooses to run again. Republican insiders says Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and Bruce Keough (long-time governor-office seeker from western New Hampshire) are both considering a run in 2010.
So win or lose this year, Guinta would be in an excellent position in 2010 if he decided to run for this year. The real risk is if Guinta were to lose by more than 15 points. That could retard Guinta’s political career.
Where would that leave Manchester? If Guinta ran for governor, it’s unlikely that he’d run again for mayor (the next city election is in 2009). I see a race for mayor shaping up between Jerome Duval and and Alderman at Large Mike Lopez — a good-old fashioned east side versus West Side race.
Booze, politics or both
It’s been rumored that former Nashua Mayor Bernie Streeter is being considered for the open Republican slot on the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. The commission has a three-seat board. However, Streeter is also said to be eyeing his old executive councilor seat in the western part of the state (Nashua to the Keene area).
One complication to all this is a bill floating around the state House that would reduce the commission from three to one. The idea behind having three commissioners was to spread the influence over three people, so no one person would control a $400 million arm of the government.
Express to become a weekly
The Manchester Daily Express will be published as a weekly starting Thursday, Feb. 28.
The Express has been very successful in attracting readers and winning an audience. It fills an under-served need for community news in Manchester. Converting the Express from a daily paper to a weekly paper will allow us to continue to publish all the local content that the Express currently delivers, but in a package that is more convenient to readers, has a higher proportion of local news and is more attractive to advertisers.