BEDFORD – The gesture, at the very least, proved Andrew Hemingway was willing to walk the talk.
The race to become chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee has been hotly contested since Hemingway challenged former congressional candidate Jennifer Horn for the position in late November.
Yet when the votes were tabulated at the conclusion of the state GOP's annual meeting Saturday afternoon at Bedford High School, and Horn had emerged victorious, Hemingway agreed to throw out all other votes in exchange for one, his.
Hemingway stood at the microphone and cast an affirmative nod to his opponent, shook her hand and swiftly exited stage right.
Horn thanked Hemingway and promised to work with he and other Granite State Republicans to unite the party as they collectively take aim at the 2014 state and national elections.
"We're going to move forward from here today unified, one party, one effort to hold the Democrats accountable, their big spending, big government, tax-and-spend policies, we're going to be holding Maggie Hassan accountable to her campaign promises, and we're looking forward to winning again in 2014," said Horn.
"We're all on the same page already, we are a united party," she added. "Long-term Republican activist, new voices who have come to effort more recently, we're walking out the door today united, ready to take on the Democrats."
Hemingway, in his final speech prior to the vote, echoed a similar sentiment.
"Every single member of our state party needs to know that victory begins today," he said. "And when we walk from this place, may we walk as one united unit."
That seemed to be the message of the day, as virtually every local GOP leader – including U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, former congressman Frank Guinta and outgoing NH Republican Chairman Wayne MacDonald – each took their turn and urged members of their party to cast aside their differences and work together at the risk of suffering another embarrassing political setback in less than two years.
"When we stop fighting ourselves," said Ayotte, "we win."