Concord—House Speaker Shawn Jasper today announced the addition of two legislators to his leadership team, along with several other promotions. The moves come on the heels of the resignation this week of Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) who stepped down to form a congressional exploratory committee.
Rep. Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) will be moving from his role as House majority whip to take over the position of majority leader. “After working closely with Rep. Hinch on the budget veto throughout the summer, I was able to witness first-hand his leadership qualities,” said Speaker Jasper. “I know that Dick is well respected by the Republican caucus. He proved as the majority whip that he is a consensus builder. I am confident that he will bring those same talents to the important role of majority leader,” he added. Rep. Hinch is serving his fourth term representing Merrimack and also serves as chairman of the House Legislative Administration committee.
“It is an honor to serve the people of our great state and to represent the Republican Caucus in this capacity. In my role as majority whip, I had the opportunity to work with nearly every member of our caucus to help advance our legislative priorities. In addition, my door was always open to all members of the House, understanding that building relationships helps foster a political environment that our constituents can be proud of. I’m looking forward to this new opportunity, working with Speaker Jasper and our Republican caucus, and continuing the progress we’ve made through the rest of this term,” said Rep. Hinch. Rep. Stephen J. Schmidt (R-Wolfeboro) will continue in the role of deputy majority leader on Jasper’s leadership team.
Speaker Jasper also announced that Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel (R-Raymond) will assume the role of majority whip. “Kathy has been a strong member of my leadership team since the beginning and it was only appropriate that she move up from her position as deputy majority whip,” said the speaker. Rep. Hoelzel, serving her sixth term in the House representing Raymond, is also the chairman of the Election Law committee.
Rep. Claire Rouillard (R-Goffstown) will take over the role of deputy majority whip from Rep. Hoelzel. Rouillard currently serves on the Judiciary committee. “Rep. Rouillard joined our team as an assistant majority whip during the session and has impressed everyone with her skills,” said the speaker. Rep. Rouillard was also selected by the Council of State Governments as a 2015 Henry Wolcott Toll Fellow. The award is given annually to 48 of the top officials in the country from all three branches of state government.
Two other additions to the speaker’s leadership term were also announced today. Rep. Peggy McCarthy (R-Nashua), a member of the State-Federal Relations & Veterans Affairs committee, was appointed assistant majority leader; and Rep. Terry Wolf (R-Bedford), a member of the Education committee, will serve as an assistant majority whip under Rep. Hoelzel.
“During this past House session, these two legislators have made an impression on members of the caucus with their dedication, hard work and leadership qualities. I am proud to have them join my team and I look forward to working with them this session,” said Speaker Jasper.
The new leadership positions take effect immediately.