Former Speaker Bill O'Brien Chosen to Lead NH House Again - NECN
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Former Speaker Bill O'Brien Chosen to Lead NH House Again

Republican heavyweights like U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte had endorsed O'Brien's opponent, Gene Chandler



    Former Speaker Bill O'Brien Chosen to Lead NH House Again
    Republican William O'Brien — shown starting the legislative session as Speaker of the House on Dec. 1 — will lead the New Hampshire House again.

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

    O'Brien, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2012, defeated Gene Chandler on Tuesday. The full House will vote to confirm the nomination on Dec. 3.

    Republicans won 239 seats of the New Hampshire's House in the November election, gaining control of the 400-member chamber and power to choose the next speaker.

    Chandler held the post from 2000 to 2004. Both men campaigned on conservative fiscal principles such as reducing the budget. O'Brien, however, was known for a leadership style that brought frequent confrontation during his previous tenure as speaker.

    Several Republican heavyweights had backed Chandler, including U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, former Govs. John H. Sununu and Steve Merrill, former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass and former House Speakers Donna Sytek and Doug Scamman.

    There were originally three candidates for the office, but Laurie Sanborn dropped out of the race after her husband fell ill.

    Senate President Chuck Morse, a Republican, congratulated O'Brien in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

    "I want to congratulate Speaker O’Brien on his nomination as speaker," he said. "I look forward to working with Speaker O’Brien, along with our Republican and Democratic colleagues, to balance New Hampshire's budget, improve our economy, and deliver vital state services to those most in need."

    Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, also issued a statement following O'Brien's nomination.

    "The people of NH work together to solve problems every day & that’s what they expect of elected leaders," she said. "I congratulate Bill O'Brien on the outcome of today's vote & I will continue to work with legislative leaders from both parties in order to solve problems and make progress for New Hampshire's people, businesses and economy."

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