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NH Republicans Split on Whether Rep. Guinta Should Resign

Image: NH Republicans Split on Whether Rep. Guinta Should Resign
Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H. (Handout/facebook.com/repfrankguinta)

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 01:26 PM

Granite State Republicans are split over whether Republican Rep. Frank Guinta should resign over a Federal Election Commission decision that he received an improper six-figure donation from his parents in his 2010 election campaign, but Guinta is digging in his heels, vowing to stay in office and run again in 2016.

Even as Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., issued a call for Guinta's resignation, Guinta, insisting that the scandal is nothing more than a paperwork error, had his chief of staff Jay Ruais tell Politico that he "will run for re-election and looks forward to continuing his record of hosting town halls, roundtables on issues of importance, fighting for our veterans, while cutting spending and working on legislation to grow the middle class."

The conflict is likely to impact the 2016 presidential election, because fellow Republicans running for the White House have supported Guinta in ways that may tarnish their campaigns, The Washington Post notes.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's super-PAC Right to Rise gave $5,200 to Guinta in February, while Donald Trump kicked in $1,000, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry donated $2,500, and one-time U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, who has said he is not running for president, donated $5,000. Former-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has campaigned for Guinta.

Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said, "Gov. Bush does not believe Congressman Guinta's actions were appropriate. It is incumbent on public servants to be transparent and ethical. Gov. Bush believes the decision on whether or not to remain in the House is up to Congressman Guinta, and ultimately to his constituents," the Post reported.

Back home in New Hampshire, Ayotte, who expects to face a tough re-election campaign in 2016, said she was "deeply, deeply disappointed" in Guinta, adding, "Congressman Guinta must make his own decision about whether to resign, but if I were in his position, that's what I would do," CNN reported.

Guinta was charged with receiving an improper $355,000 donation from his parents and was ordered by the FEC to repay the money and cough up a $15,000 fine, CNN notes, while Guinta says the money actually was his own.

The Union Leader bluntly said in an editorial, "Frank Guinta is a damned liar."

Politico said, "Ayotte and other Republicans can ill afford to be dragged down by Guinta’s ethics woes," and noted that the state's top Republicans, Senate President Chuck Morse, Speaker of the state House Shawn Jasper and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, all have called on Guinta to resign.

Other Republicans, such as GOP state Rep. Victoria Sullivan, are standing by Guinta. She said, "The overwhelming majority of people seem to be on the same page, that this is not something worthy of a resignation," Politico reported.

However, Jasper told Politico, "There’s been a bit of a mixed reaction, but I think the people who have really thought about it realize this doesn’t have a good ending for Congressman Guinta."

University of New Hampshire political scientist Dante Scala told The New York Times, "Certainly New Hampshire Democrats see Guinta as a thorn in the side of Kelly Ayotte and her re-election, a thorn in the side of the Republican Party in general, and they’ll keep pressing the issue going forward whenever they can."

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Granite State Republicans are split over whether Republican Rep. Frank Guinta should resign over a Federal Election Commission decision that he received an improper six-figure donation from his parents in his 2010 election campaign, but Guinta is digging in his heels, vowing to . . .
Frank Guinta, Resign, republicans, new hampshire
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2015-26-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 01:26 PM
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