Shooting will wrap up former Trump aide’s primary race


Policy

A heated New Hampshire primary in the state’s 1st congressional district ends with a literal bang.

Karoline Leavitt, Republican candidate for New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district, speaks during a debate, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Henniker, NH AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

A heated New Hampshire primary in the state’s 1st congressional district ends with a literal bang.

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Karoline Leavitt, 25, who served as an aide to President Donald Trump’s press office and turned the primary into a bitter battle over which candidate wore the mantle of Trumpism, was set to end her campaign Monday night with a gunshot at Londonderry Fish & Game. Club in Litchfield, New Hampshire.

Among the special guests are two Republican members of Congress: Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Byron Donalds of Florida, members of the Freedom Caucus who represent the far right of the party with which Leavitt has aligned herself. Boebert associates the campaign event with a signature from his memoir, “My American Life.”

The event was to be a splashy coda for a candidate who has gained traction with conservative voters by reaching for the most extreme and provocative statements and molding himself in Trump’s image.

The candidate who appears to be leading, Matt Mowers, 33, is also a former Trump administration official posing as an “America First” conservative. He was due to spend the last night of his campaign visiting bars and restaurants in Manchester, a campaign aide said. The two former Trump aides are vying for the chance to run against incumbent President Rep. Chris Pappas, a Democrat.

The close race between Leavitt and Mowers has divided MAGA Republicans and House party leaders. Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California and former Trump campaign aides like Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie have endorsed Mowers. Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, who is the No. 3 Republican in the House, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas were among those who endorsed Leavitt.

Mowers, who won the Republican nomination for the same House seat in 2020 but lost to Pappas, entered the race a year ago as a perceived frontrunner. But Leavitt issued a strident and surprisingly fierce challenge by presenting herself as the anti-establishment candidate and saving her opponent as a creature of the political “swamp”.

A recent poll by the University of New Hampshire Center for Survey showed Mowers leading Leavitt by a narrow margin: 26% to 24%, barely more than the 2.2-point margin of error, although that 26% of likely voters said they remained undecided.

“Karoline Leavitt was the straw that stirred the drink,” said Dante J. Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.

In campaign mailings, Mowers touted his 2020 endorsement of the former president, who has not endorsed any of his former aides in this year’s race.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a McCarthy-aligned super PAC, has spent more than $1.3 million supporting Mowers. Another super PAC that backs moderate Republicans, Defending Main Street, has spent more than $1.2 million and is running an ad that describes Leavitt as a “woke gen-Z’er” and playing a Snapchat video she took. posted once in which she used foul language to refer to her viewers.

The race will be decided on Tuesday evening.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.



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