Malzone may run for House

MERRIMACK – One former Merrimack official might be looking to Washington, D.C., for his next elected office.

Mike Malzone, a former town councilor enraged by U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta’s vote to raise the federal debt ceiling, is considering challenging the former Manchester mayor in the 2012 election.

Malzone, 50, grew disenchanted last week after Guinta cast his vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling, despite his campaign promises to lower government spending.

As a result, Malzone has formed an exploratory committee and is looking into the feasibility of launching a campaign.

“I was livid,” Malzone said of Guinta’s debt ceiling vote. “The fact of the matter is, that’s the biggest vote he’s ever going to have. And he dropped the ball on that. .?.?. He handed it off.”

Throughout the fall campaign, Guinta, who unseated former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, promised to cut federal spending. And, despite Malzone’s concerns, he claimed that the debt ceiling deal, the Budget Control Act, did just that.

“This bipartisan vote marks a significant shift away from decades of fiscal irresponsibility .?.?. ” Guinta wrote in a statement following the vote. “It honors the spirit of Cut, Cap and Balance, which I still believe is the best vehicle for putting our country’s finances in order by making real cuts and implementing spending controls.”

But Malzone disagrees, countering that the deal gives the president further authority to continue to spend and build on the country’s record debt and deficit.

“That’s not what we sent (Guinta) there to do,” said Malzone, who founded the Merrimack tea party group earlier this year. “The fact of the matter is if I wanted someone to raise the debt ceiling, I would have voted Carol Shea-Porter back in.”

Moving forward, Malzone needs to see if he can build the funds to match his enthusiasm.

As a candidate, he would refuse to take lobbyist money, just as he would refuse to refinance his mortgage to fund his campaign, he said.

“You shouldn’t have to go bankrupt to run for office,” he said.

But, with the emergence of the tea party and the general uproar against politics as usual, Malzone believes that money won’t be determining factor in next year’s race.

If he decides to run, Malzone will likely face off against Guinta in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, Shea-Porter has already stated her intentions to run once again. The first district runs from Derry to Conway, including parts of Bedford and Merrimack.

“This is the time now for a regular Joe who has common sense to get in without spending that kind of money,” Malzone said. “People are sick of politics as usual. They’re ready for a hard-working, God-fearing, regular American instead of a career politician.”

Jake Berry can be reached at 594-6402 or jberry@nashuatelegraph.com.