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Rep. Julie Brown, R Rochester, was a 12 term House Republican who lost her primary bid. Brown opposed Right to Work, supported same sex marriage and was a longtime member of the House Children and Family Law Committee.
Lewandowski said the efforts of these disparate groups weren't always coordinated or even known.
Last fall, Lewandowski and others reorganized the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, which for years had been dedicated in state elections to fighting a broad based sales or income tax and in federal elections to supporting more domestic energy production under its chairman, former state Sen. George Lovejoy, of Rochester.
For O'Brien's continued survival as speaker after November, just as significant last week was that Republican voters across the state rejected several of his personal and issue based adversaries.
Lewandowski said Lovejoy asked him late last year to become a consultant to the coalition and he agreed. He confirmed that for the 2012 election, the top issue of this newly reformed coalition was Right to Work.
The outspoken House leader, a Mont Vernon Republican, easily topped the ticket for renomination running in his altered, smaller district, getting more votes in Mont Vernon and New Boston than his two primary rivals combined.
Also capturing one of those nominations, however, was former Rep. Robert Mead, O'Brien's former chief of staff, who was forced to resign from a House GOP staff job for having been paid $400 in taxpayer paid mileage for attending events to recruit Republican candidates.
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"I was really gratified, because when there are personal attacks of all kinds thrown at you, it's hard to know for sure whether your constituents are buying them or not," O'Brien said.
Welch said some mailings attacking him came from out of state addresses he didn't recognize.
"I didn't get the feeling that the speaker was directly involved in my race at all," he said. "The speaker had his own issues and his own campaign to worry about."
"It's one of the reasons I've always felt that primaries are good for our party; they keep it vibrant. They force us all to better connect from the voters, not only to tell them what we're up to, but more importantly, to get feedback about what we should be doing up here for them."
"The elimination of just one of these turncoats is a victory for the people of their district, the state as a whole and the Republican Party, and we're elated we were able to defeat three of them," McKinney said.
"Some of our activities, mail, phone calls, media dovetailed with what others were up to; sometimes it was completely independent," Lewandowski said.
Emerson was also the legislator who charged that O'Brien had tried to bully her into dropping plans to add spending back into the state budget plan the House adopted in March 2011.
There were 19 House Republicans and two House Democrats defeated in primaries Tuesday. Among them were David Welch, R Kingston, a former chairman of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
O'Brien had endorsed the third candidate for one of the two House GOP nominations, John Quinlan, a Mont Vernon selectman. O'Brien had appointed him to the Legislative Ethics Committee.
For example, Lewandowski noted that some Lv Backpack Replica groups in this informal band wanted to defeat Rep. Susan Emerson, R Rindge, for her votes on Right to Work and gay marriage.
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"There was quite a flurry of them coming at me," Welch said. "That's the way it goes. Maybe in two years you'll see me coming back."
First round of 2012 election season a win for Speaker O'Brien
As for O'Brien's role, Welch said he didn't see a direct connection.
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Welch has been in the House for 28 years but opposed O'Brien on a Right to Work law and repealing same sex marriage.
House GOP incumbents.
Brown was one of six Republican incumbents targeted by the Republican Liberty Caucus as supporters of "big government" and a threat to the "principles of limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility and free enterprise."
Liberty Caucus Chairwoman Carolyn McKinney said GOP voters chose nearly 81 percent of the incumbents or challengers it had endorsed and rejected three of six incumbents it had worked to defeat.
O'Brien insisted that he didn't advise leaders of these groups on whom they should work to help elect or defeat in GOP primaries.
These conservative groups included the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, Cornerstone Action, New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, New England Right to Work Campaign, National Organization for Marriage, New Hampshire Advantage Coalition and the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
"This election is about jobs and the economy, and it's clear to us that getting a Right to Work law in New Hampshire would lead to significant job growth," Lewandowski said.
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