Shawn Jasper

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a scenario that was reminiscent of his earlier rise as Speaker of the House, Republican Shawn Jasper narrowly squeaked through as New Hampshire’s new agriculture commissioner — thanks to support from the opposite party.

When Jasper was elected Speaker in 2014, House Democrats joined with a handful of Republicans to secure his nomination. On Wednesday, the Executive Council's two Democrats also joined with one Republican to confirm Jasper as agriculture commissioner.

Allegra Boverman

The New Hampshire House Speaker's job could soon be available as current House Speaker Shawn Jasper says he's applying to be the next state agriculture commissioner.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 13, 2017

Oct 13, 2017

Gov. Sununu nominates House Speaker Shawn Jasper to be the next Commissioner of Agriculture. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter announces she won't run for re-election, and speculation begins on who might run for the first congressional district seat. State health official say residents on public water in Merrimack and Bedford have been exposed to toxic chemicals. And the state and EPA differ on the risks posed by a superfund site in North Hampton. 


Allegra Boverman

The Speaker of the New Hampshire House is looking to put down his gavel to lead the state’s agriculture department.  Although it may be an unusual career move, Speaker Shawn Jasper says he’s been eyeing the commissioner's job for a while. 

Jasper grew up in a family of poultry farmers. His grandfather and father bred chickens for nearly 75 years in Hudson - producing more than 160 million eggs. 

Jasper says he’s continued to keep up on agriculture issues over the years through the legislature and as a nearly 30-year advisor to UNH's agriculture fraternity.

Portsmouth Police Department

A New Hampshire House Rep. from Hudson has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

josh rogers/nhpr

Dover State Rep. Sherry Frost told a committee reviewing controversial comments she made on social media her that "emotions sometimes get the better of me." But the Democrat also argued her occasionally profane statements on social media are driven by a commitment to people who are marginalized.

Senator Kevin Avard

The New Hampshire State House has an open-door policy. The building is part museum – and visitors are welcome to take in the living history. But some of the most interesting places are kept under lock and key.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House Speaker Shawn Jasper wants to give towns that postponed their elections due to a snowstorm a way out of facing potential lawsuits from voters who may have been disenfranchised.

Jasper is proposing letting towns ratify the results of their elections by holding another vote. A bill he's sponsoring would give towns that moved Election Day the option of letting townspeople vote to ratify, or confirm, the results on May 23.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

House Speaker Shawn Jasper says it shouldn't be a surprise House Republicans aren't backing Gov. Chris Sununu's plan to spend $18 million in the next two-year state budget to fund full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted 187 to 179, along near party lines, to table a bill that would extend anti-discrimination protections to people who are transgender in employment, housing and public accommodations.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

At the New Hampshire State House, lawmakers don’t limit debate to bills and the budget. Control of square footage in the building itself can be as controversial as any partisan policy. I took a tour with a man who has a set of keys to the shared rental.

House Speaker Shawn Jasper stands by his decision to appoint Rep. Frank Sapareto as Vice Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee. 

Sapareto’s past criminal record has raised complaints about the appointment. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Hours after a 2005 recording of Donald Trump was made public last week, in which the Republican presidential nominee boasted in explicit terms about groping women, Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu issued a one-sentence statement:  “Mr. Trump’s comments are repugnant, unacceptable and offensive.”

But when it comes to supporting Trump as president, Sununu’s campaign says nothing has changed. He still plans to back Trump as the Republican party’s nominee.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper is hoping to hold onto his leadership role for a second term.

But the Republican is already facing opposition from within his own party.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

This week, Alexandria Knox got to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one of her biggest heroes.

"Speaker Jasper," she said, "he is my inspiration."

That's Shawn Jasper, the Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

In the final stretch before the New Hampshire Primary – Republican Chris Christie added another top state lawmaker to his list of New Hampshire endorsements. That's after House Speaker Shawn Jasper officially backed Christie at the State House on Wednesday.

So far Chris Christie has the most New Hampshire endorsements of any Republican candidate in the race.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The new legislative session began in Concord Wednesday morning on a slightly unusual note.

Before voting started, House Speaker Shawn Jasper pleaded with his fellow lawmakers to respect each other - both in and out of the State House.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House rejected an effort by backers of former Republican Speaker Bill O'Brien to install him as House majority leader. But O’Brien says he’s still moving forward with plans to form his own leadership team.

Backers of O’Brien knew they faced long odds in trying to get a House majority to reject the course it set just last month when members chose Shawn Jasper as speaker,  but that didn’t stop them.

Steve Stepanek of Amherst told colleagues the very future of the house depended on ensuring that caucuses -not any speaker - get final say on who should lead.

J. Stephen Conn via Flickr CC

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper continues to add to his leadership team.

On Tuesday, Jasper named Republican Steve Schmidt of Wolfeboro as Deputy Majority Leader.

Schmidt is entering his third term in the House and recently retired from as an executive with Verizon.

Jasper has already named Jack Flanagan of Brookline as Majority Leader.

Members of the House will convene for their first session on January 7.

No one expected this proposal to win favor in a committee led by House Speaker Shawn Jasper and made up of lawmakers who back his leadership.

But those loyal to Bill O’Brien, like Amherst Representative Steve Stepanek, gave it a try.

"For the integrity of the house it is important to put things in rules now that we took for granted as being precedent."

Before the committee voted it down, House Speaker Jasper, countered that not having a Speaker appoint leaders is what lacks precedent.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The man appointed by House Speaker Shawn Jasper to lead House Republicans held his first GOP caucus on Wednesday.  Brookline lawmaker Jack Flanagan says he expects resistance from some backers of former House Speaker Bill O'Brien, but expects the controversy over who is the rightful leader of Republicans in the House to fade.

On Wednesday afternoon, Flanagan caucused privately with about 100 House Republicans.  Flanagan said the stated goal was to gather input of policy priorities for the next two year session.

Veteran Lawmakers To Lead Key House Committees

Dec 11, 2014
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A number of familiar faces will lead key New Hampshire House committees.

Via Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper has named former state Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas as House legal counsel.

Douglas's resume includes a term Congress, representing New Hampshire's 2nd district, and a stint as legal counsel for former governor Meldrim Thomson.

Douglas has also been counsel for the New Hampshire Republican state committee.

He now leads a Concord law firm, where he's  represented plaintiffs in lawsuits against the state on matters ranging from sexual harassment to judicial pensions.