Pawlenty’s loss, Romney’s gain…
State Rep. Shaun Doherty, R-Pelham, says he still likes and respects GOP presidential candidate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but he’s frustrated with the lack of New Hampshire activity by his campaign.
As a result, Doherty told the Granite Status, he’s resigned from Pawlenty’s New Hampshire steering committee and has decided to back former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Doherty was one of the original eight Granite Staters named to the Pawlenty steering committee in April.
He said today that since then, he’s shown up at some events and has called friends and his own supporters on Pawlenty’s behalf, but has not been asked to do anything specific by the campaign.
“I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for Tim Pawlenty,” said the 23-year-old second-term lawmaker, who four years ago was the state youth chairman for John McCain’s New Hampshire campaign.
“The campaign hasn’t really developed into what I thought it would develop into,” Doherty said. “They’re doing a lot of really good things but it doesn’t seem to be working. And their not quite capitalizing on the momentum that they had with their launch.
“They haven’t capitalized on their opportunities. It just hasn’t developed.”
Doherty said Romney “is running a very strong campaign in New Hampshire and I feel I’d like to participate in that campaign.”
Pawlenty has not been to New Hampshire since the June 13 presidential debate, spending almost all of his time in first-caucus state Iowa leading up to the Aug. 13 Ames, Iowa GOP presidential straw poll
“But that’s not the only real factor. There were a lot of small things,” he said.
Doherty is the second state House member to have expressed frustration with Pawlenty in the past week.
We spoke last week with Rep. Win Hutchinson, R-Manchester, who told us he briefly considered bolting the Pawlenty camp out of frustration with Pawlenty’s initial comments about Michele Bachmann’s migraine headaches, but then reconsidered and decided to stay on board, at least for now.
Welcome aboard, Shaun!
► Jayde Wyatt