Hinman Forum, Rockefeller Center, Room 115
Livestream Link: https://dartgo.org/nhprimary
The Rockefeller Center 2024 Presidential Candidate Series
The New Hampshire Presidential Primary: A Conversation with State Party Chairs Chris Ager (R) and Raymond Buckley (D)
Chairman, New Hampshire State Republican Committee
State Chair, New Hampshire Democratic Party
Moderator: J. Russell Muirhead
Robert Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics
Co-Director, Political Economy Project
What happens to New Hampshire and its outsize influence on U.S. presidential elections if the state loses its first-in-the-nation primary? Democratic and Republican state party chairs, Chris Ager (R) and Raymond Buckley (D) discuss the history, influence, and future of the primary and provide analysis of the current state of the race.
Chris Ager is the Chairman of the NH State Republican Committee, elected in January 2023. He previously served as Republican National Committeeman for NH and Hillsborough County Republican Chairman and Merrimack, NH Town Chairman. Prior to retiring in 2020 Chris worked at BAE Systems running the Laser Development and Production programs.
Chris was a helicopter pilot in the Army serving in both active duty and Reserves.
Mr. Ager received his Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981 and received his Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2007.
He has been a member of the Nashua Rotary Club, Amherst Lions Club, past Merrimack School Board Chairman & Budget committee member, Appalachian Mountain Club, American Legion and numerous charity affiliations.
He resides in Amherst, New Hampshire with his wife Diana. Their 3 children all attended the University of New Hampshire.
Raymond Buckley was elected as Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party in 2007. He is currently serving in his 9th two-year term. Prior to serving as Chair, he served 4 terms as Vice Chair and 4 years as Executive Director. He has been a member of the Democratic State Committee since 1978, when at age 18 he was elected his County Chair. He first started volunteering at age 8 and was a teenage organizer for Jimmy Carter’s campaign for President in 1976. He has served as campaign manager or in a top role in successful campaigns from president to the school board. In 1986 he was elected to the NH House from Manchester serving eight terms and served in the House Democratic leadership for a decade. Ray served 5 terms as Manchester City Chair. Ray has served on the DNC Executive Committee since 2001, served as the DNC Eastern Region Chair 2001-2009, President of the Association of State Democratic Committees 2009-2017. He was the first openly gay Vice Chair of the DNC 2009-2017. Ray served on the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee for 8 years and is on the Credentials Committee. He was a delegate to eight Democratic National Conventions, NH Delegation Chair last four conventions.
Russell Muirhead teaches in the Government Dept. He is now teaching classes on Race, Justice, and the Law and on Democratic Erosion. One of his favorite classes to teach over his career has been American political thought. He has written books on conspiratorial thinking in American politics, and on partisanship in America politics. Muirhead also represents Hanover and Lyme NH in the NH Legislature where he serves on the election law committee.