Potential Vice President Donalds appears at the NHGOP fundraiser

U.S. Representative Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) at the NHGOP Amos Tuck fundraising dinner on May 17, 2024

Byron Donalds, Florida congressman and Donald Trump's potential running mate, was in Portsmouth Friday evening, leading a GOP fundraiser in New Hampshire and expressing his optimistic view of the November election.

“When we are united, there is nothing the crazy left can do to stop us,” Donalds told the crowd. “The race for America is on.”

The annual Amos Tuck Dinner often attracts national politicians — and national attention. Last year's speaker, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), was interrupted when a group of anti-Israel progressives stormed the stage.

This year, the state's GOP chairman, Chris Ager, celebrated the party's success, pointing out that New Hampshire is the only East Coast state north of the Mason-Dixon line with a Republican governor and state legislature.

But Ager also reminded the roughly 200 Republicans in the room that New Hampshire, with an open race for governor and a razor-thin GOP majority in the House, is in real danger of a Democratic victory.

Gov. Chris Sununu, who is serving his final year in office, urged the crowd to work hard to ensure Republicans maintain control of state government. As for the chances of a Democratic win in November, Sununu said, “I can't think of anything that keeps me up at night more.”

“We are surrounded by madness on all sides,” he said of the Democratic-controlled states bordering New Hampshire. “And we are reason.”

Sununu also reminded the crowd of the legislative successes they have achieved since he was sworn in.

“We didn’t have constitutional carry, but we have it today. We didn’t have school choice, but today we have it,” Sununu said. “It all depends on the corner office.”

Sununu told NHJournal he expects a very close race.

“It's going to be exciting across the country, but my focus – and the focus of a lot of people in this room – is on the state races,” Sununu said. “Now more than ever, it is state and local policies that impact people’s lives more than anything else.”

Republicans also honored Attorney General John Formella with the Meldrim Thomson Jr. Principle Above Politics Award.

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella receives Meldrim Thomson Jr.'s Principle Above Politics Award from Governor Thomson's son Tom.

“As attorney general, I am not allowed to endorse any slate of candidates or participate in campaigns,” Formella told NHJournal. “But what I like about the Republican Party — and everyone knows that I'm a Republican and was involved in politics before taking this role — is that in a room like this, with Republican activists, you get that feeling “That you… We have a group of people who agree on fundamental values ​​and principles, and that's why they're here.”

“They are not here because they have an 'R' on their uniform or because they are part of a team that is fighting another team. It is a group of citizens who agree on basic core values.”

Donalds has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Donald Trump, although the fact that both live in Florida could potentially be problematic. And the Florida congressman has been a tireless defender of Trump, even appearing last week in the New York courtroom where the former president is on trial on criminal charges.

Trump responded by suggesting that Donalds would be a good candidate for governor of Florida in 2026, saying “he'll have a lot of friends in the race” if he decides to run.

Fox News asked Donalds about the possibility of a White House run in 2028.

“I think it’s pretty cool. You never know. Politics is a funny business. “Things can change very, very quickly,” he said. “People kept asking me about the future. So why not go to New Hampshire, especially if you're asked there? You better show up.”

Amos Tuck, a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, helped found the New Hampshire Republican Party in 1856 and was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1856 and 1860.

Anna Harden

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