Jim Lawrence jumps into race for 2nd Congressional District
CONCORD – Jim Lawrence made it official on Tuesday, announcing his plans to make a second bid for Congress in New Hampshire’s second district.
The former three-term Republican state representative from Hudson also announced that he’s brought one of the most battle tested political operatives in the state, Mike Biundo, on board as the campaign’s general counsel.
The announcement that Lawrence is running is not seen as a surprise. Last Wednesday, in an sit down interview with NH1 News, Lawrence said “I have an exploratory committee doing diligent work now and I have to tell you the results have been very positive. So it’s looking pretty good.”
Asked what the final deciding factor would be, Lawrence told NH1 News “to be honest with you family is the most important thing to me. If I don’t have the support of my family I definitely won’t go. I can tell you though that my family seems to be very supportive this go around. And it’s not like they don’t know what it’s like. Because I ran for Congress in 2014 as well.”
Lawrence, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a veteran who later worked for 15 years as a contractor on Defense Department projects, set up an exploratory committee a couple of weeks ago.
In a statement announcing his candidacy, Lawrence said that “the federal government is too big, too bureaucratic, and too inefficient. Our government intrudes too much into our daily lives. We need a Congressman who will cut waste, rein in the federal bureaucracy, and return power to the people of New Hampshire. I built my successful business streamlining federal government programs, rooting out inefficiencies and waste, and saving taxpayer dollars. I will do the same in Washington.”
Lawrence came in third in the 2014 GOP primary, with just under 19% of the vote. Marilinda Garcia won the contest, with Gary Lambert coming in second. Both of those candidates had been in the race for many months before Lawrence jumped in.
“I didn’t even explore for very long before I announced last time. I announced well into June. That was a very short candidacy, 91 days. I was very pleased that I was able to get almost 20% of the vote in a three-way race in 91 days,” Lawrence told NH1 News.
Two Republican candidates have already declared this time around in the 2nd Congressional District: State Rep. and former House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan of Brookline and Casey Newell of Deerfield.
Even though he wasn’t a declared candidate, Lawrence grabbed 51% of the vote at a straw poll last week put on by the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women. Flanagan was second, at 28%.
The winner of the September 13 GOP primary will face off in November against two-term Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster, who’s already raised more than $2 million for her re-election campaign.
Biundo coming on board the Lawrence campaign
Biundo is co-founder of RightoOn Strategies, a national political strategy group. The Manchester native, who still lives in the Queen City, has a long history of working on Republican campaigns, dating back to Pat Buchanan’s 1992 primary challenge against President George H.W. Bush. Buindo managed Buchanan’s 1996 victory in the first-in-the-nation primary. He managed Frank Guinta’s 2005 and 2007 mayoral campaigns in Manchester, as well as Guinta’s 2010 election to Congress.
Biundo was national campaign manager for Rick Santorum’s bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. He worked for Republican nominee Mitt Romney during the general election. This election cycle Biundo served as a top adviser to Sen. Rand Paul’s White House bid. After the senator from Kentucky dropped out of the race, he worked for Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign.
In a statement, Biundo said “Jim Lawrence will run a professional campaign, building a district-wide grassroots organization to take his message directly to voters in the media, online, at town hall meetings, and in door-to-door conversations.”
“He will paint a clear contrast with Annie Kuster: She supports higher taxes and larger, more intrusive government. He will vote to cut taxes, reduce the size and reach of government, and return power to New Hampshire families,” he added.
Jim Lawrence speaks with NH1 News on Wednesday May 25, 2016