Serious political junkies may want to keep an eye on the mayoral race in Manchester, New Hampshire. The seat was vacated by Frank Guinta, who is running against Carol “Che” Porter. The Republican, Ted Gatsas, is favored to win over The Democrat, Mark Roy. The race is important for a number of reasons.
1. Manchester, with a population of 110,000, is a conservative jewel of a city. It is the epicenter of New England conservatism. But lately, Democrats have made headway into this traditional Republican bastion.
2. The margin of victory may be indicative of a political shift in New Hampshire and the region. The numbers here will be a harbinger of key races in 2010. Republicans are hoping for sixty percent.
3. Conservatives must do more than win back traditional territory in the South and Midwest to sustain a viable majority. The GOP needs to expand its turf, build its numbers and exhaust enemy resources. New Hampshire is a worthwhile front.
4. Building the bench. The GOP needs to crawl before it can walk and walk before it can run in certain Blue states. If conservatives are to succeed in Blue States, it needs to start at the bottom, not at the top. Manchester has a history of producing talent.
In a traditional election year, there may little time to worry about a mayoral race. But in this off year, hard core political junkies may want to keep an eye on The Queen City.