Josh Rogers

Senior Political Reporter and Editor

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPR’s State House reporter. Before joining the staff, he lived in New York, where he worked for a number of different magazines.

Josh’s award winning reporting can be heard locally but also regularly airs on national broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Josh is also a frequent analyst on political talk shows in the state. He grew up in Concord, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Reed College.

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Democratic candidate for Governor Molly Kelly brought her push for creating a state paid family leave program to a Londonderry apple orchard Wednesday.  

Kelly has been talking up paid family leave for weeks. The issue is the subject of her lone general election ad, and to hear the candidate tell it, this near exclusive focus isn't going to change anytime soon.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams stressed the role the overdose reversing drug Naloxone needs to play in reducing opioid deaths. Adams was in Concord to address an opioid forum convened by Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Adams told a ballroom full of people steeped in New Hampshire's opioid epidemic that a lethal drug overdose takes place every 11 seconds in America, and that 50 percent of them happen at home.

Adams says the numbers underscore the need for more people to make a habit of carrying medicine that can undo overdoses.

josh rogers / nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu says he plans to renew his push to enact the victims rights constitutional amendment known as Marsy's Law. Lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected the measure earlier this year.

josh rogers / nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu says he plans to push for more funding at the state university system for science and engineering education. 

Sununu used remarks at a New England Council breakfast to hint at some of future plans should he win reelection. Prime among them, the governor said, was boosting the number of home-grown workers to help power what Sununu expects to be a growing bio-tech sector.

NHPR Photo

Governor Chris Sununu says he can't judge Brett Kavanaugh's judicial temperament based on Kavanaugh's testimony before the U.S. Senate. 

Sununu signed a letter supporting Kavanaugh's nomination shortly after it was announced. Molly Kelly, his Democratic challenger, was deadset against Kavanaugh from the start. During a visit to a Concord health Clinic, Kelly said that adding Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court puts abortion rights at risk, and Sununu knows it.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Newly released court documents use Whitefield State Senator Jeff Woodburn's personal diaries to corroborate the domestic violence charges faced by the former Senate Democratic Leader.

According to an affidavit filed by a state investigator, last Christmas Day Woodburn wrote in his diary that he was "focused on my failure to control my anger,"  "It is becoming regular and it scares me."

In an earlier entry, from that August, Woodburn describes kicking the door off the dryer after an argument that included his partner throwing his clothes out on the lawn.

josh rogers / nhpr

Gov. Chris Sununu and Molly Kelly both picked up big union endorsements today in the race for governor.

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire haven't endorsed a Republican for governor since Craig Benson in 2004, but the union also tends to back incumbents. Union President Bill McQuillen says this year's choice was easy, given Sununu's record on matters of concern to firefighters.

"I can tell you with confidence that Governor Sununu has yet to tell us no on an important issue of ours."

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Members of New Hampshire's energy industry joined lawmakers Monday at the state’s annual energy summit, which helps set priorities for next year's legislative session.

They debated the policies – and politics – that could help lower the region’s high electric costs, diversify and stabilize fuel supplies, and reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Governor Chris Sununu and Democratic rival Molly Kelly presented contrasting ideas on those issues at the start of the summit.  

Both of New Hampshire U.S. Senators went on record last week saying they would vote against Brett Kavanaugh.

But the Democrats now say the Senate should hold off on any vote on Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court until the Senate can examine the accusation made against him by Christine Blasey Ford.

In a statement, Maggie Hassan says Ford, now a California college professor, has shown great courage in speaking out and that "we must ensure the process treats her with dignity."

Fresh off a easy victory against a write-in opponent recruited by the Democratic Party, Jeff Woodburn returned to the state house for veto override day Thursday. All but one of his fellow Democrats in the Senate urged him to resign last month when he was charged with domestic violence. Woodburn says he intends to continue serving in Concord.

"The only people I'm expecting support from are people in my district. They are the ones who have given me this job and they are the only ones who are going to take it away."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu hasn't always gotten his way with the Republcian-controlled Legislature. Its override of a biomass energy veto bill this week is but the freshest example. But Sununu told fellow Republicans at the party's Unity Breakfast Thursday that their work in Concord -- to cut taxes, reduce regulation, foster educational choice, and boost business development -- will help them win in November.

Michael Moore / The Keene Sentinel

Former state senate Molly Kelly cruised to victory over Steve Marchand Tuesday in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. It was a big win for her, and for the party establishment who threw their support to Kelly from the moment she became a candidate.

Kelly’s margin of victory– she beat Steve Marchand by about 2 to 1 and carried all but a few small towns – was large. And as Kelly addressed supporters in Keene, she said her win should serve as a notice to Chris Sununu.

“Let me send a message to Chris Sununu: Do not underestimate me. I’ve been underestimated before.”

NHPR File Photo

Primary Day can simply be the day when voters choose who will represent their parties during the general elections.

But primaries can also shape - or reshape - a party, and sometimes in lasting ways. This year could be one of those times for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Joining All Things Considered host Peter Biello to talk about these particular primary politics is Josh Rogers.

Note: This transcript has been edited for clarity

josh rogers / nhpr

 

 

Democratic candidates for governor Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand are working to stoke support -- and pounding core messages -- in advance of Tuesday's primary.

Gov. Chris Sununu/Twitter

For the Democratic candidates running for New Hampshire governor, it’s crunch time. All week long Steve Marchand and Molly Kelly have worked to get attention from voters and the press. Between now and Tuesday, that hustling will be almost non-stop.

For Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is running for reelection but doesn’t face a primary, the political pace is decidedly less frantic. Incumbency helps, but so does Sununu’s personality. 

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Since the 1970s, every candidate running for governor—or any other major office in New Hampshire—has faced the question: will they pledge to oppose a broad-based sales or income tax?

This year, some prominent Democrats say it is long past time to stop taking what is known as The Pledge. But its political pull remains strong.

To understand how the pledge continues to shape—and some might say warp—politics within the New Hampshire Democratic Party, consider this recent exchange between the party’s two gubernatorial candidates at Dartmouth College.

John McCain was a mentor to Kelly Ayotte in the U.S. Senate, and Ayotte has been asked to read from the Biblical Book of Wisdom at McCain's funeral service at the National Cathedral.

McCain will be eulogized by two men who dashed the two-time New Hampshire presidential primary winner's hopes at reaching the White House, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman will also give readings, as will several McCain family members.

 

More than 200 Republicans gathered in Windham last night for a roast of former Gov. John H. Sununu. 

 

John Sununu has always been known for his biting comments. But on this day, almost all of those were directed his way. Former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, the former governor’s eldest son, was quick to share his father’s nickname on a local softball team.

“Sewer Pipe, Sewer Pipe Sununu.”

State Sen. Andy Sanborn's behavior at the State House has been an issue in his run for Congress this year.

Newly released documents show a former top state senator and fellow Republican who now works as a lobbyist wanted Sanborn out of office because he's a "black eye" on the institution.

A new poll from UNH finds voters are already very interested in the 2020 presidential race.

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren are the candidates New Hampshire Democrats are most interested in right now, according to the Granite State Poll.

Among Republicans, 80 percent say they approve of President Trump's performance, but only 56 percent of likely GOP primary voters say they plan to vote for him.

josh rogers / nhpr

 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly says a federal report that found the Division of Children, Youth and Families failing to meet basic standards is fresh proof the state isn't protecting the vulnerable.

Kelly says the state should hire enough staff to limit caseloads at 12 per worker.

"Failing to act represents a moral failure of state government. We cannot continue to allow this to happen. If we can fund tax breaks for wealthy corporations we can fund the agency the protects the most vulnerable children."

Josh Rogers / NHPR

 

 

This was Michael Avenatti first visit to New Hampshire as a could-be presidential candidate. But when he showed up in rural Greenfield, in full L.A. trial lawyer at rest regalia - wearing Prada jeans, Louis Vuitton belt, form-fitting french blue shirt - it was clear his cable news ubiquity had paid off. 

NH DOJ

  

A former state Senate staffer told investigators that sexual comments “just roll off the tip of [the] tongue" of Republican State Senator and congressional candidate Andy Sanborn.

That’s according to transcripts released by the Attorney General’s office late Friday.  

The federal government says its review of 65 cases pulled in April, found the Division of Children, Youth and Families -- or DCYF -- falls short in such key areas as protecting children from abuse and neglect, and ensuring they receive services to meet their educational, physical and mental health needs. 

The report says high caseload volumes remain a big problem. Joe Ribsam directs DCFY.   

A North Country Democrat is mounting a write-in campaign to challenge State Senator Jeff Woodburn, who is seeking reelection as he faces multiple misdemeanor domestic violence and assault changes. 

Kathleen Kelley says her positions on issues don't differ much from Woodburn, and that if elected she'd fight for more resources for the North Country -- for schools, for health care and to improve economic opportunity. Kelley says Senate District 1 needs representation that is beyond reproach.

A new report from the New Hampshire Women's Foundation finds slightly more women are seeking office in the state compared to two years ago. But there are significant differences in the number of women running based on political party and region.

AP

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for "Stormy Daniels," will appear at a Democratic Party picnic this weekend in New Hampshire.

Michael Avenatti says he's considering a 2020 presidential run. He already visited Iowa and on Sunday he'll speak at the Hillsborough County Democrats Summer Picnic in Greenfield.

Roger Lessard leads the local Democratic committee there.  He says the Avenatti visit came together quickly.

"We had not anticipated having anyone of national note appearing at the picnic and this just sort of fell into our lap."

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

As Molly Kelly makes her case to voters that she should be New Hampshire’s next governor, a recurrent argument is that her time in the state Senate proves that she is up to the task of leading New Hampshire.

“As governor, I think it is very important that you have that experience to work with legislators, and that you are ready day one," she recently said on the trail.

josh rogers / nhpr

Company officials were joined at the groundbreaking by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan. Before they all donned hard hats and turned the soil with chromed shovels, Revision CEO Jonathan Blanshay said New Hampshire's workforce, proximity to Boston, and political climate, made it the perfect location for its U.S. Headquarters.

"In just over a year we will have a brand new, state of the art facility. It is going to house the most advanced soldier systems capability in the world, right here in New Hampshire."

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Abortion rights have been a big issue in the Democratic primary for New Hampshire Governor.

Both candidates - former state senator Molly Kelly and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand - have been working to cast themselves as the more stout defender of legal abortion.

Today, the political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England rendered its judgement, endorsing Molly Kelly.

Joining All Things Considered to discuss the endorsement is Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers

Note: Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity

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