Rich Ashooh

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

The Trump administration has tapped former 1st District Congressional candidate Rich Ashooh to be its new assistant secretary of commerce, with a focus on exports.

Announcing the nomination Friday, the Trump administration noted Ashooh’s role as Director of Economic Partnerships at UNH, and his past experience working as a top executive with defense companies Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.

Ashooh, who lives in Bedford, narrowly lost last year’s Republican Congressional primary to incumbent Congressman Frank Guinta, who then went on to lose in the general election.

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Republican Rich Ashooh has conceded to incumbent Frank Guinta in their primary in the state's 1st Congressional District.

With 96 percent reporting, Guinta leads Ashooh by 661 votes, or about 1 percent of the vote. 

Wednesday morning, Ashooh issued a statement, saying that despite the close margin, "I am conceding this race to my opponent so that the Republican ticket may immediately position itself for victory in November." 

Jason Moon for NHPR

For Congressman Frank Guinta and his supporters, it turned out to be a long primary night, as results in the contest between Guinta and challenger Rich Ashooh proved too close to call.

About 50 Guinta supporters gathered at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester, eating wings and downing beers as they watched the returns come in on TV screens above the bar.

The room of die-hard supporters was optimistic for Guinta’s chances, but as the returns began to show just how close the race was, Steve Miller of Merrimack nervously made a prediction.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Congressional race for New Hampshire’s 1st District was a nail biter between Republican Rich Ashooh and incumbent Frank Guinta.

Guinta's headquarters Tuesday night was at Murphy's Taproom in Manchester. Meanwhile just down the road Ashooh held his at the Italian restaurant Fratello's.

 

 

Frank Guinta knew his well-documented violations of federal campaign finance law would come up last night. And he came prepared, so much so that he raised the issue himself, just seconds into the debate.

 

"Unfortunately during the next 60 minutes, my opponent, who is a carrier lobbyist will try to impugn my integrity and personally attack me and my family and tell you that I haven’t done anything for the people of New Hampshire."

Peter Biello / NHPR

Former defense industry executive Republican Rich Ashooh is running for Congress in New Hampshire’s first district. He’s hoping to unseat incumbent Republican Frank Guinta. 

In recent interviews and debates, he’s characterized himself as an outsider, a new face, someone who could succeed where the incumbent has failed. Rich Ashooh spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about his ideas.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In their first primary debate Wednesday morning, Republican Congressional candidate Rich Ashooh and incumbent Frank Guinta sparred over Guinta’s campaign finance violations.

During the debate on WGIR, Ashooh said voters should be concerned about the $355,000 in illegal contributions Guinta’s parents made to his campaign committee in 2010.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  Early in his career Republican Rich Ashooh worked for a US Senator. Now he'd like to head to Capitol Hill himself. 

Pam Tucker for US Congress, YouTube

The previously crowded Republican primary for New Hampshire's First Congressional District shrunk yet again on Monday, as State Rep. Pam Tucker announced plans to suspend her campaign.

Republican Congressman Frank Guinta is facing a fresh obstacle in his quest to keep his seat: The formation of an outside money group to back one of his rivals.

Republican businessman Rich Ashooh is the benefactor of a newly formed super PAC, which can raise unlimited sums of money from individuals. The group's financial backers aren't yet known, but Matt Mowers, a former executive director of the state GOP, is helping run it.

Kate Harper for NHPR

In a video announcement partially shot in the Manchester Millyard, former BAE Systems executive Rich Ashooh plays that his grandparents were immigrants and his concern that the next generation of his family will be disadvantaged -- by national debt, high student loans, and dependent of government for their health care.

Ashooh also uses his the video to take a poke at incumbent republican Frank Guinta. Guinta defeated Ashooh in the 2010 GOP primary, a race in which Guinta accepted $350,000 worth of donations from his family that the FEC later said were illegal.

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.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Huge rallies with thousands of supporters. Ad buys that try to reach millions of voters. Those are the hallmarks of modern presidential campaigns.

But there’s a good chance the next president will have also spent some time getting to know voters one on one in much smaller settings – like Rich Ashooh's living room.

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

Rich Ashooh worked for six years on the staff of former New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman.

Now the longtime executive for defense contractor BAE Systems will lead the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy, the center at UNH Law named in honor of his former boss.