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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New party chair talks about her priorities, challenges GOP facing after fall elections

As a newspaper columnist and a radio host, Jennifer Horn has held strong opinions. But now, as chairwoman of the N.H. Republican Party, she has grown her audience.

Horn, a Nashua resident and conservative activist, was elected to the state post over the weekend. On her first day on the job, she took a moment Monday to discuss her priorities for the party, as well as the challenges facing New Hampshire Republicans after the fall elections. ...

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As a newspaper columnist and a radio host, Jennifer Horn has held strong opinions. But now, as chairwoman of the N.H. Republican Party, she has grown her audience.

Horn, a Nashua resident and conservative activist, was elected to the state post over the weekend. On her first day on the job, she took a moment Monday to discuss her priorities for the party, as well as the challenges facing New Hampshire Republicans after the fall elections.

Q: What leadership qualities do you feel you bring to the N.H. Republican Party?

A: “I think that my greatest strength I have is I have built over the years a very respectful, strong relationship with grass-roots and party leaders from all over the party. We can talk about grass-roots and technology, all the tools we can put to use, but the most important thing we need to do as Republicans in New Hampshire is to come together ... and unite our message.”

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing the Republican Party after the 2012 elections?

A: “What we’ve got to do as a party is to find a way to make a personal connection with our neighbors across the state. There is no question in my mind that the core principles of the Republican Party – limited government, low taxes, unlimited opportunities – when those principles are translated into policy, every single person in the state benefits. What we need to do as Republicans is to find a way to personalize that to voters, be able to connect with them, help them to understand what the personal impact on the quality of their lives is going to be if they vote Republican.”

Q: What will it take for you to reach voters at that level?

A: “The Republican Party of New Hampshire needs to build a highly functioning, professional, aggressive, political machine, and that is what we are going to do moving forward. That involves fundraising, that involves technology upgrades, that involves staffing, a lot of things. ... There’s no question that we need to bring more voters to the table than we did Nov. 6. … I think that the way that you do that is by better making the argument for why our principles and our values better serve the community.”

Q: What issues do you see coming that will have the biggest impact on New Hampshire voters?

A: “We are looking forward to seeing what Gov. Hassan is going to offer in her budget. If she moves forward embracing the same big spending, high taxation policies she embraced as a senator, we’re obviously going to have some issues to talk about. We feel it is our responsibility to make sure our constitutional rights are protected, but that our pocketbooks are protected as well.”

Jake Berry can be reached at 594-6402 or jberry@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Berry on Twitter (Telegraph_JakeB).