The enormous headline on Thursday's Manchester Union Leader read: "Gregg: Sununus Responsible for Douglas's Defeat."
When asked at a news conference why voters in New Hampshire's 2nd District ousted conservative Rep. Chuck Douglas (R) and elected a Democrat for the first time since 1912, New Hampshire Gov. Judd Gregg (R) said he suspected that there were "a lot of factors," but he pointed the finger of blame at the White House chief of staff and Gregg's predecessor as governor, John H. Sununu, and his wife, Nancy.
Richard Swett, a political newcomer, was the only Democrat to win a top office in New Hampshire Tuesday.
"It's tough to be a Republican junior member of Congress and have the Republican White House chief of staff indirectly endorse your opponent," Gregg said, "The Nancy Sununu quotes had an effect on that race," he added.
In June 1989, Nancy Sununu hinted that she might challenge Douglas because she said he did not represent traditional New Hampshire moral values. Douglas has been married and divorced three times.
Swett tried to capitalize on that during the campaign.
He appeared often with his wife and five children, and his campaign distributed a brochure that quoted Nancy Sununu saying, "I have known Chuck Douglas for over 15 years and I've never appreciated his values and his morals and that hasn't changed. He hasn't changed. I'd like a congressman who represents more traditional New Hampshire values."
Neither Douglas nor either of the Sununus would comment on Gregg's remarks.