Ashooh 'Seriously Considering' Another Congressional Run

Feb 25, 2016

Credit Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Rich Ashooh, a longtime defense executive and director of the Warren Rudman Center at UNH Law, says he’s “seriously considering” another run for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

“I’m very close,” Ashooh said Wednesday night at an event celebrating the opening of a Dover field office for Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire. “Part of the reason I’m not quite there yet is that I’m involved in a project right now that I’m taking quite seriously, and I want to make sure it succeeds.”

Ashooh was appointed as an interim director of the Rudman Center in September, after former State Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick stepped down from the role.

“But that’s going to be wrapping up soon, and then I’ll be able to clearheadedly make this decision,” Ashooh said this week. “I mean, there’s no question, I care very much about the state and the district — and I’ll want to do something about it, and running for Congress is definitely top of the list.”

The Republican primary for the District 1 seat is already shaping up to be a crowded one. Rep. Frank Guinta, who came under fire last year after he was found to have violated campaign finance laws, has signaled plans to run again.

But two others, former UNH business school dean Dan Innis and former deputy Speaker of the House Pam Tucker, have also joined the race.

Ashooh, who lives in Bedford, finished a narrow third in the 2010 Republican Congressional primary.

Asked about his priorities should he enter this year’s race, Ashooh cited an interest in prioritizing national security, citing his years in the defense industry, and “getting our fiscal house back in order.”

Before joining the Rudman Center last year, he served as a top executive for defense contractor BAE Systems and, earlier, was a member the late Sen. Warren Rudman’s staff.

Ashooh says he'll announce his plans in April.