MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – Former NH GOP gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne announced today that he has hired Jim Merrill, Managing Director of the Devine Strategies consulting firm in Concord, NH, to serve as his senior advisor as he considers the prospect of running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire in 2010.
Mr. Merrill most recently served as the New Hampshire State Director for Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and a few months ago was recognized by Business NH Magazine as one of New Hampshire’s 25 Leaders of the Future. Previously, he directed the successful 2000 general election campaign of President George W. Bush in the critical state of New Hampshire, and in 2004 he served as the New Hampshire Grassroots Co-Chair for President Bush’s re-election campaign. An attorney, Mr. Merrill previously served as counsel to the 2004 Bush-Cheney and 2008 McCain-Palin Presidential campaigns in New Hampshire, as well as the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.
Lamontagne noted “I continue to seriously consider a run for U.S. Senate next year. We have heard a lot of talk about change in Washington, but the only action we see is more spending and more government regulation and bailouts. I believe a new direction is required, one that demands and delivers real reform with real results. As I begin to speak with, and listen to, voters and leaders from around the state, I am heartened at the encouragement I am receiving regarding my potential candidacy. Jim is one of the most highly regarded operatives in New Hampshire and is a rising star in the Republican Party. He has shown time and again what it takes to build a successful campaign team from the ground up, and I am pleased to have the benefit of his experience and counsel.”
Ovide M. Lamontagne served as Chairman of the NH State Board of Education from 1993-1996, and in 1996 he was the Republican nominee for governor of New Hampshire. Today, he practices law at Devine, Millimet & Branch, P.A., and is a recognized leader in the charitable and non-profit communities, having been honored in June as New Hampshire’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Daniel Webster Council – Boy Scouts of America.