New Hampshire Free State Project has Maine state senator Eric Brakey as its new leader.

The New Hampshire Free State Project has a new executive director. Eric Brakey, a 35-year-old Republican state Senator from Maine, will lead the libertarian group that aims to attract out-of-staters to the Granite State and “turn the tide against big government.”

Brakey brings a long — and in many ways more conventional — political resume to his new job leading the Free State Project, which has often portrayed itself as a renegade force in New Hampshire politics.

An Ohio native, he directed Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign in Maine, before becoming a politician himself, winning election to the state Senate there in 2014, and mounting failed bids for U.S. Senate in 2018 and Congress in 2020.

After a stint in Texas working for Young Americans for Freedom, a political organization dedicated to getting liberty-minded candidates elected to state legislatures, Brakey returned to Maine, where in 2022 he again won election to the Maine Senate.

Brakey, who works as a substitute elementary school teacher when the Maine Senate is not in session, said in an interview that his decision to lead the Free State Project was partly motivated by wanting more time to have a family.

But he also said he sees New Hampshire as the lone state in the region where libertarian-minded lawmakers appear to be getting their way on policies ranging from gun rights to education.

Brakey said: “I think there are some really interesting things happening in New Hampshire, and I think it’s in large part because of the Free State movement.”

Brakey joins the Free State Project at a time of prominence and controversy.

The libertarian group, founded in 2001, has become an increasingly influential factor in Republican politics here. More than a dozen Free State Project members have served in the state Legislature, including House Majority Leader Jason Osborne.

Brakey will lead the project from Maine until his legislative term is up next year. He said he hopes to spend part of next week in New Hampshire, getting personally acquainted with the Free State Project.


Free State Project: New Hampshire will continue to be the mecca for liberty lovers