O'Brien Nominated Once Again For N.H. House Speaker

Nov 18, 2014

Rep. Bill O'Brien in NHPR's studios
Credit Brady Carlson

Republican Bill O'Brien has been nominated by fellow Republicans to become the next speaker of the New Hampshire House.

O'Brien, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2012, narrowly defeated Gene Chandler – also a former house speaker -- on Tuesday.

Prior to the vote, O'Brien told the GOP caucus by working together they could “turn NH into the crown jewel of New England.”

Afterwards, O’Brien was unavailable for comment, but many Republicans, including Chandler, said they expected O’Brien’s second go at speaker to be less confrontational – within the party as well as with Democrats.

“Well I just hope we are able to keep it together and put up a good front and get some responsible legislation passed that the people of the state respect us, and we can hopefully do that.”

When Bill O’Brien last led the house Republicans held a 3 to 1 edge over Democrats in both chambers and GOP closed a large state budget gap without raising taxes.

But Republicans also clashed on hot-button issues, like abortion restrictions, whether to repeal same-sex marriage, and how much to loosen state guns laws. 

Republicans now control 239 seats in the 400 member House. And hold a 14-10 edge in the state senate.

The full House is expected to confirm O’Brien’s nomination as Speaker Dec. 3.