One of the complaints about New Hampshire’s two-year governor’s term is he or she is saddled with the last governor’s department heads when the office changes hands.
The issue is more pronounced when a governor is elected after a long run by the other party.
Democratic governors occupied the corner office for 18 of the last 20 years before Gov. Chris Sununu took over in 2017, so he inherited a litany of Democratically-appointed department heads.
Every governor wants senior managers to share his or her political philosophy and Sununu has moved quickly to reshape the governmental landscape after 12 consecutive years of Democratic governors.
In the last two weeks, two department heads have either not sought renomination — a nice way of saying Sununu told them he would not renominate them — or failed to win key support for another term.
Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers announced last week he did not want to be renominated for what most insiders recognize as an overwhelming and thankless job. In his case, he may really want a change.
Meyers, whose term ends in January, was a good soldier and did the governor’s bidding as lawmakers worked on the budget earlier this year.
But those who have known him for a long time had to believe it must have been difficult for him to do Sununu’s bidding when he had served in many capacities under Democratic bosses like Governors John Lynch and Maggie Hassan and Senate President Sylvia Larsen.