Testerman urges support for Smith, citing conservative unity

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Nine months ago, Karen Testerman sat down with me to discuss her thoughts about running to replace Jeanne Shaheen in the U.S. Senate. Later, she declared her intention to run. She was undeterred by other candidates, preferring to make her own case to voters statewide. Today, on the last day for New Hampshire’s 2014 candidates to file for office, she arrived at the State House with Bob Smith, and announced that she has decided to back him for Senate.

I know Karen, and I know this had to be a tough call for her. Thumbs up, I say, particularly after I stood amid the crowd today and heard her statement.

…time and again, I observe elections where candidates who fully embrace the principles of the Republican Party split the conservative vote, thus enabling the candidate who compromises our basic tenets of life, liberty and property to slide into victory…. I will not let it happen again. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result….It is time for all of us to put aside pride and focus on our greater goal, that of fighting for family, faith and freedom. I will not force our principle-driven primary voters to make a self-defeating choice. After much prayer and consultation, I will step aside to allow [former] Senator Bob Smith to be the only conservative name on the primary ballot.”

Pro-life is not necessarily synonymous with conservative or Republican (ask any self-identified “liberty Republican”), but it sure is when Testerman and Smith are speaking. They don’t want to split the pro-life vote. Good for them.

Ten Republicans have filed for the right to face Shaheen in November. Most are unknown outside their communities. I’ll identify the pro-lifers, but it’s a safe bet that aside from Smith, none of them can bring a dozen years of Senate seniority to the table.