DURHAM – Representative Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) was elected Speaker of the House today by a majority of members present at the University of New Hampshire, where the House of Representatives held their Organization Day meeting.

Following his election, Hinch gave brief remarks where he said, in part, 

“Thank you for entrusting me with this responsibility. It is a great honor, and comes with a solemn duty to work with all of you to help make our great state even better. We have some significant challenges ahead of us. We’ve spent the last 9 months fighting to maintain our dignity and resolve in the midst of public health and economic uncertainty. Now is not the time to resort to petty political attacks and pointless spectacles. That is not what our voters sent us here to do. They want results. Not tweets, or drama, but results. So let’s buckle down. Let’s get to work. Let us lead by example. Let’s conquer these challenges together.”

Following his election Hinch appointed Rep. Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) as House Majority Leader. Osborne is serving his fourth term in the House, having served as House Republican Policy Leader from 2018-2020.

“In the last two years, we were very successful in achieving unity within our caucus, and I look forward to working with new and returning members to continue that through the 2021-2022 session, but it will take a lot of hard work. The Republican Majority intends to get to work immediately to further our Republican agenda and produce and support a fiscally responsible, balanced state budget without new taxes or fees. We are committed to improving our state’s business climate by reducing and reforming our business taxes, and continue to support policies that promote school choice and maintain funding for charter schools. I look forward to working with Speaker Hinch and the new leadership team to preserve and increase personal rights and liberties and limit government overreach.”

Speaker Hinch also appointed Robert “Renny” Cushing (D-Hampton) as House Democrat Leader. Cushing had been nominated by Democrat House members in November. Cushing is serving his eighth term in the House.

Background: The General Court meets to organize on the first Wednesday of December in each even numbered year, as required by our State Constitution. At the organizational session all members present are sworn in by the governor, in the presence of the Executive Council. The House holds an election for House Speaker and other officers. The Senate holds an election for Senate President and other officers. The House and Senate then meet in joint session and elect the Secretary of State and the State Treasurer.

The event was scheduled to be held indoors, but after careful consideration House and Senate leaders asked for the event to be moved outdoors to mitigate risk of COVID transmission as cases rose around the state.