By Tom Spencer, Staff Writer
University of New Hampshire marketing professor Dan Innis has been appointed to be the finance chair for the Republican Party of New Hampshire.
On Monday night, the executive board of the New Hampshire Republican Party unanimously voted to approve Innis to the seat said Ryan Williams, senior advisor to the New Hampshire Republican Party.
“Innis is a rising star in the New Hampshire Republican party,” Williams said. “He made a lot of friends and impressed a lot of people when he ran for congress in 2014.”
Innis lost the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District to Rep. Frank Guinta in September 2014. Republican Party of New Hampshire chairman Jennifer Horn nominated Innis, stated Williams.
“For someone who was virtually unknown prior to the campaign, he ran a strong, incredible race,” Williams said.
Williams said Innis’s well-run campaign and work at UNH proved he had the skills needed for the job. Innis will stay on as a professor at UNH while he works for the NHGOP.
Innis said he was approached with the nomination about 10 days ago. After some conversations about whether or not he was a viable candidate for the role, he accepted. He learned of his approval by phone call five minutes before the first tweet went out.
“My goal is [to] raise money for good candidates, especially with the presidential election cycle coming up,” Innis said.
Innis had two thoughts about a Buzzfeed article with the headline “New Hampshire Republicans Put Married Gay Man In Party Leadership.”
“My husband was the first one to see it,” Innis said. “I learned a lot about Buzzfeed last night.”
While Innis felt the media was overly preoccupied with the fact that he is an openly gay married man, none of his republican colleagues have ever been negative about it, and no citizens have brought it up during question and answer sessions.
“The media cares a lot. Voters care very little,” Innis said. “It’s that ‘live free or die’ mentality that makes New Hampshire special.”
“I would rather be defined as a thoughtful Republican,” Innis said.
On the other hand, he was glad that Buzzfeed, which has many followers in the college demographic, was giving his appointment such publicity.
“This may show college students that the NHGOP is more open to those ideas than they assumed,” Innis said.