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Pawlenty Plants More Seeds in New Hampshire

Pawlenty Plants More Seeds in New Hampshire

By Erin McPike - September 21, 2010


Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty will leave his biggest footprint yet in the Granite State next Thursday when he'll travel to the state to campaign for Republican gubernatorial nominee John Stephen and the 1st Congressional District nominee Frank Guinta.

Next week's visit will mark Pawlenty's fourth political trip to New Hampshire, and he will make a multi-city swing in the state this time. A Pawlenty adviser noted that the governor's trips so far to the state have been very successful, and his team hopes to build on that and spend more time there in the coming months.

According to a news release to be issued soon, "Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC endorsed over 30 candidates in New Hampshire today, including five candidates for Executive Council, 24 candidates for state Senate, all 10 candidates for County Sheriff, continuing his support for common-sense conservative candidates around the country."

His PAC is sending $5,000 apiece to each of the three Republicans running for Congress: Republican Senate nominee Kelly Ayotte, 2nd District nominee Charlie Bass and Guinta. Stephen's campaign will get a check for $1,000.

Pawlenty's organization will donate $250 to the state and sheriff candidates and $500 to the candidates running for the New Hampshire Executive Council.

A spokesman for the governor added that the PAC will also contribute to the New Hampshire House Republican Victory PAC. New Hampshire Republicans are optimistic this cycle about flipping control of the state House away from the Democrats, who currently hold a large advantage but face a number of tossup races this year.

Pawlenty's also one of several likely 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls coming out for Stephen in the governor's race. Democratic Gov. John Lynch has won easily in the last two election cycles, but a new poll by Rasmussen Reports shows him in a statistical dead heat with Stephen, at 48 percent to 46 percent. The poll sampled 500 likely voters on Sept. 15 and had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also have upcoming visits planned on behalf of Stephen.

A Stephen victory would be a big coup for the Republicans; Lynch still holds a 13-point lead in the RCP Average.

Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at emcpike@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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