It's Official: Shawn Jasper Will Continue As N.H. House Speaker

Dec 7, 2016

After winning the support of the full New Hampshire House, Republican Rep. Shawn Jasper is set to serve another term as House Speaker.

And unlike the last contest for speaker, this year's election went largely as expected.

When Shawn Jasper claimed the speaker’s gavel in 2014 it look multiple rounds of voting, proposed rule changes and a total of seven hours. As well as the support of his Democratic colleagues.

On Wednesday, however, Jasper claimed victory in the very first round of voting and even winning with a 20-vote margin.

The first order of business though was a roll call….of all 400 members as well as having them take the oath of office. 

The next item on the agenda was the speaker's race. But with only two candidates on the ballot for speaker, and a solid  Republican majority in the House – Jasper’s victory over Democratic leader Steve Shurtleff was all but assured.

All 400 members of the New Hampshire House took the oath of office Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 at the State House for the 2017-2018 legislative session.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Jasper, for his part, didn't mind the lack of suspense.“That was awfully nice to have an uneventful election," he told reporters while chuckling. "We haven’t had one of those in a while."

And looking ahead to next term Jasper is also relieved to have both legislative chambers and the Corner Office under Republican control.

“We’ve been playing defense for the last two years we are now going to go on offense as a unified Caucus," he said. "There are a lot of things that we would have liked to have done and things we would have liked to change and we are going to have more opportunity to be more proactive than reactive.”

Some of those things Jasper is referring to include changes to the state’s election laws and loosening business regulations.

The day wrapped up after members from both chambers again chose Bill Gardner as New Hampshire's Secretary of State. Gardner's held the position since 1976.