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Republicans ready for rally

BEDFORD — Democratic primary voters may discern differences in the policies espoused by presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but the national press secretary for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign does not.

“From Bernie to Biden, we’re facing socialism,” Kayleigh McEnany said during a Tuesday roundtable discussion with fellow Republicans in Bedford.

The event took place two days ahead of Trump’s scheduled Manchester re-election rally. Although the Granite State has not gone “red” for a Republican in the Electoral College since 2000 — and even as the state’s demographics seem to be shifting so that it leans even more Democratic — New Hampshire Republican Chairman Stephen Stepanek on Tuesday vowed to reverse this trend.

“This will be a red state come the morning of Nov. 8, 2020,” Stepanek declared.

Area business owners joined McEnany, Stepanek, former Maine Gov. Paul LePage and others to highlight what they consider the success of Trump’s economic policies.

During the discussion, New Hampshire House Minority Leader Richard Hinch, R-Merrimack, encouraged those seated before him to vote for Trump, and and to support a bring back a Republican majority in the state House, Senate and Executive Council.

New Hampshire Republicans were routed by Democrats in 2018’s “blue wave,” losing control of all three of these governmental bodies in the process.

Still, McEnany underscored the narrow loss the Trump campaign saw in New Hampshire in 2016, and said the president lost by just 2,700 votes. She later claimed the average taxpayer in New Hampshire has since seen a savings of $1,400 as a result of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

She also said Democrats have embraced government takeover of health care, and embraced the Green New Deal, referring to it as government takeover of energy.

One of three business owners who joined the panel on stage during the event, Lou Gargiulo, expressed similar sentiments. He is the CEO and principal owner and founder of Great North Property Management Co.

Gargiulo asserted that since Trump took office, he has seen his business grow from approximately 100 employees to 150 employees. He said he has also opened more offices and that business is very good, attributing this success to both Trump and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.

Additionally, as with Maine Republican Chair Demi Kouzounas, Gargiulo said he has seen salaries increase greater than before.

Kouzounas is also a dentist and small business owner. She has nearly 30 employees in locations in Scarborough and Skowhegan, Maine. She said in the last two years, her employees have seen raises of up to $4 per hour since Trump took office.

“I think our country is now finally going in the right direction,” Kouzounas said.

Moreover, Jack Gilchrist is the president of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Co. in Hudson. He said business has never been as good as it is now, citing Trump for his success. He said he has since seen his employment increase by 30% in recent years.

New Hampshire Senate Minority Leader Chuck Morse, R-Salem, said the state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, the highest median income and is the envy of the Northeast. He said Sununu is driving the economy, just as Trump is driving the economy throughout the country.

“The one thing that I believe in politics is living up to your word, and the president did that,” Morse said. “The president said he was going to lower taxes and drive this economy, and that’s why we’re here tonight, because he’s done that.”

Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206, or at aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.