MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A prominent member of the New Hampshire Republican Party has lost his national post to a conservative activist from Hillsborough County.
New Hampshire national Republican committeeman Steve Duprey lost Saturday to Chris Ager in voting at the 2020 annual meeting of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, a state GOP spokesman said.
The race offered a contrast between a well-connected party insider and an activist who gained attention for his vocal support of President Donald Trump.
Duprey resigned his post for Ager, chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Committee, to take over immediately.
As he promoted his campaign for a fifth term earlier this month, Duprey announced the endorsement of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. He was also backed by the state’s leading Republican, Gov. Chris Sununu.
Like many establishment Republicans, Duprey was critical of Trump before he won the presidency but became a staunch defender. One point of contention was Trump’s consistent criticism of Duprey’s close friend, Sen. John McCain, which continued even after the Arizona Republican’s death in 2018. Duprey repeatedly defended McCain against Trump’s jabs.
“President Trump is in very good shape in New Hampshire,” Duprey said in March 2019. “He’s the prohibitive favorite. I just take offense when he criticized John McCain. If other Republicans don’t like it, too bad.”