EXCLUSIVE: Karoline Leavitt, the 23-year-old former spokeswoman for House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and former assistant press secretary for former President Trump, is running for Congress in the First Congressional District of New Hampshire, vowing to serve as the “conservative firewall” between the Granite State and Democrats in Washington.
Leavitt, who was born and raised in Atkinson, N.H., returned to the Granite State last month from Washington, D.C., to “step into the arena and fight.”
She’s one of several Republicans aiming to unseat Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas, who has represented the district since 2019. Pappas won reelection in 2020 by five points in a battleground district that could see an infusion of GOP voters after once-in-a-decade redistricting, which the Republicans control in New Hampshire.
Republicans Tim Baxter, a first-term member of the New Hampshire House, Gilead Towne, and Julian Acciard have also announced their candidacies. Matt Mowers, who unsuccessfully challenged Pappas in 2020, is reportedly mulling running for the seat again.
The First Congressional District covers some of the southern and eastern portions of the state and includes Manchester, the state’s most populous city.
“I’ve been spending every day criss-crossing the state and the district and listening to voters who are my friends, my family and my community who I grew up with,” Leavitt told Fox News. “The energy for conservative change here is real.”
Leavitt told Fox News her home state’s “federal delegation is currently made up of radical socialists who pretend to be moderate.”
“The people of New Hampshire recognize this and they want to send a conservative fighter to Washington,” Leavitt said. “I am going to be a conservative firewall between the radical craziness in D.C. and the ‘Live free or Die’ state that allowed my family to achieve the American Dream.”
Leavitt, an alumna of Timberlane Regional School District, Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Mass., and Saint Anselm College in Manchester, served in the Trump administration as an assistant press secretary under Kayleigh McEnany, where she says she “fought against” the mainstream media to “advance the administration’s America First policies.”
Most recently, Leavitt worked on Capitol Hill as the communications director for Stefanik, helping to lead her messaging.
“I am grateful to Congresswoman Stefanik for encouraging me to step into the arena and fight,” Leavitt told Fox News, calling her former boss “an incredible role model for women like myself who want to get involved.”
Leavitt also praised her time in the Trump administration, saying it was “an honor to serve President Trump in his White House and fight in the trenches with Kayleigh McEnany every day against the fake news media.”
“I will be an ‘America First’ warrior in this race,” Leavitt said, adding that she hopes “Trump runs again in 2024 so that we can continue advancing the ‘America First’ agenda.”
“Censorship in general is one of the reasons I want to run. Across our country, conservatives don’t feel like their voices are being heard. It drove me to run. President Trump said it best, if they can censor him, they can censor anyone,” Leavitt said.
Twitter temporarily suspended Leavitt’s account during her time working for Stefanik after she shared posts related to Stefanik’s efforts to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as House Republican Conference chair, and content from Trump’s communications platform, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.”
Twitter reinstated Leavitt’s account, saying it was suspended “in error.”
“Everywhere you look, conservatives – myself included – -are being censored and silenced. And our basic freedoms – to speak freely, think independently, bear arms, go to church, and operate our own businesses — are being infringed by dadical Democrats,” Leavitt said.
“Here in the ‘Live Free or Die State,’ we take our freedoms very seriously,” Leavitt said. “And we need a bold, energetic fighter to serve as a firewall between We the People, and those who want to destroy our way of life.”
“I am that fighter,” she added.
Meanwhile, Democrats are already speaking out against Leavitt’s candidacy.
“This GOP primary is already shaping up to be an ugly, competitive race to the furthest fringes of the far right,” James Singer, DCCC Spokesperson, told Fox News. “It’s simple: New Hampshire families cannot afford to have an inexperienced, Trump acolyte like Karoline Leavitt representing them.”