Former N.H. Speaker Gene Chandler May Preside Again

Nov 29, 2017

Rep. Gene Chandler, R-Bartlett, during a 2015 interview with NHPR.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  The country's largest legislative body is set to choose its new leader. 

 

The 400-member New Hampshire House will vote Thursday morning to replace Shawn Jasper, who left the post after three years to become Agriculture Commissioner. 

 

On Tuesday, the House Republican Caucus selected the current Deputy Speaker, Gene Chandler, to be their nominee. As a member of the majority party, Chandler is expected to win the Speaker job. He is a well-liked, longtime lawmaker who previously served as speaker from 2001-2004. Chandler ran into some campaign finance trouble at the end of his last term as speaker. 

 

House Republicans are hoping Chandler will better unify the party. Their caucus has been notoriously split in the past, and many of them saw this speaker election as a chance to come together. 

 

Chandler told reporters if elected Speaker, he'll include a wide spectrum of Republicans on his leadership team.

 

"You gotta start by having the conversation, you can’t have a gain if you don't talk to people and meet with them and see what the issues are," he said. 

 

Chandler has repeatedly said he would not run for another term as Speaker in 2018. 

 

The Democrats will have their caucus Thursday morning, where they are expected to nominate Steve Shurtleff. The full House will cast votes for Speaker after that.