Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will take the full political tour through New Hampshire this weekend, holding meetings with key leaders and doing interviews in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
Walker is planning just one public appearance during his trip, at a grassroots training event for the state party on Saturday.
But before that, he’ll meet with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown–who lost to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014–and former Gov. John H. Sununu. He also plans to meet with business leaders in the Portsmouth area, talk to the Manchester mayor and meet with county GOP chairs. He’s planning interviews with the New Hampshire Union Leader and with WMUR, the ABC affiliate based in Manchester.
Walker’s visit – his first to New Hampshire in the 2016 presidential cycle – will put him in the state at the same time that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush makes his first trip to the Granite State in 15 years.
Bush is planning to visit a Hudson, N.H., biotech business and attend a house party hosted by Fergus Cullen, a former New Hampshire state GOP chairman who’s been active in the state’s primary for years.
On Saturday, Bush is also holding a series of meetings across the state.
The New Hampshire swing comes as the two men are increasingly emerging as competitors for the frontrunner title in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination. New Hampshire, with its well-known maverick streak, is important territory for Bush, whose establishment background and positions on immigration and education are potentially problematic with Iowa’s conservative caucusgoers.
But Walker’s itinerary shows he’s taking New Hampshire seriously–despite clear signs that he’s looking to Iowa as the state that would launch him to the eventual GOP nod. Walker is from neighboring Wisconsin and lived as a child in Iowa.