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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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

Josh Rogers for NHPR

The political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is endorsing former state senator Molly Kelly in the race for governor. 

File photo

Steve Marchand is running for the Governor as a loud and unapologetic liberal. And whether the topic is guns, abortion, campaign finance or energy, the former Portsmouth mayor’s is working to ensure his stance is the most progressive in the race.

But, to see Steve Marchand as a pure liberal is to look past a long and mixed list of political affiliations.


josh rogers / nhpr

Right now New Hampshire's goal is to have 25 percent of local electricity derived from renewable sources by 2025. Steve Marchand wants renewables to count for 50 percent by 2030.

Marchand says Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine are headed in that direction and New Hampshire would be wise to join them.

"I think this is a reasonable number. There are thousands of jobs in growing parts of the economy that I think are sitting there, if we are willing and able to lead on being more aggressive about increasing the percentage of our mix that comes from renewable resources."

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

By all accounts yesterday was an embarrassing day for political leaders in Concord. The bill they crafted, at Gov. Chris Sununu’s direction, aimed to blunt a U.S. Supreme court ruling that could force local business to collect taxes for other states. It was rejected by the New Hampshire House. NHPR’s Josh Rogers and Peter Biello talked about the political ramifications of the bill's failure, particularly for Sununu.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

It will be bottoms up in Concord on Saturday when a crowd gathers to toast the New Hampshire State House's 200th anniversary.

The "Toast to the Eagle" will feature a recitation of the 13 toasts made on July 18, 1818, the day the carved eagle was set atop the State House dome. The beer will come by Henniker Brewing Company. Its founder, Dave Currier, served in both the New Hampshire House and Senate. 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has signed a bill that eliminates the distinction between "residency" and "domicile" for voting purposes. The move comes a day after the state Supreme Sourt issued a split opinion finding the bill constitutional.

The governor said he sought the court's opinion on the bill to "put the issue to rest once and for all." 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A divided New Hampshire Supreme Court says a bill eliminating the distinction between residency and domicile is constitutional.

The governor sought the court's input on House Bill 1264, which aims to require people who vote here -- like college students -- to abide by other residency requirements, like getting a driver's license or registering their cars.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Newly released documents indicate that New Hampshire state Senate leaders reassigned a staffer under the supervision of Bedford senator and congressional candidate Andy Sanborn in 2014 amid concerns over inappropriate comments. 

The AG last month cleared Sanborn and found no wrongdoing when it investigated the possible bribing of a former Senate intern who had been the target of a suggestive joke.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Abortion rights have become a major issue in New Hampshire's Democratic gubernatorial primary.

“The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, means in almost certain terms the overturning of Roe V. Wade.”

That was Steve Marchand speaking in Portsmouth Tuesday.

As they introduce themselves to voters, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand are both playing up their modest origins.

The particulars - Kelly was a single mom, Marchand is the son of immigrants who never graduated from high school - are a clear contrast to Governor Sununu. But this focus also makes them something rare in recent state politics. 


Governor Chris Sununu has released the findings of his school safety task force, which include 59 recommendations that range from gun laws to school building design. (Scroll down to read the full report.)

The task force was asked to give "practical, actionable recommendations from areas of agreement" among its members. These include urging the legislature to pass a law mandating at least one annual fire drills be used to test emergency response to an armed assailant.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Democrat Molly Kelly says the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy should be a wake up call for Democrats.

Kelly says the threat to abortion rights and gay rights are reasons to back her over Governor Chris Sununu.

Molly Kelly still has a primary to win, but as she campaigned outside the superior court in Manchester, she was using rhetoric usually reserved for a the home stretch of a general election.

Standing before supporters holding signed with slogans like "Trust Women" and "Save Roe," Kelly said she always had, and always would, stand with women.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu will call lawmakers back to Concord to fight any effort by other states to force New Hampshire businesses to collect sales taxes on customers who buy goods across state lines. 

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

New Hampshire’s two Democratic candidates for governor have been hitting the campaign trail hard this summer – but so far, they haven’t had much of an audience.

Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand are struggling to draw attention to their primary race – while focused on targeting incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu.

Jon Greenberg, NHPR

Gym chain Planet Fitness is allowing teenagers from age 15 to 18 to work out for free this summer at all of its New Hampshire gyms.

The goal, says Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau, is to encourage teens to get fit and do so at a time of year when gyms tend to be less crowded.

"The facilities are open, they are open 24 hours a day," he said.

NHPR Staff

A group of seven Republican state representatives is challenging the nonprofit status of the conservative policy group Americans for Prosperity.

AFP announced weeks ago that it would be conducting a campaign to call out lawmakers who voted against right-to-work, one of the group’s policy priorities for years. The state reps challenging AFP's status were all targets of mailers criticizing them for voting against right-to-work legislation.

The state reps say they want to the state to weigh whether AFP should be required to register with the state as a political committee.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

An intern working for New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan was caught on video swearing at President Donald Trump last week.

Senator Maggie Hassan's intern yelled, "Mr. President………" followed by an expletive, across the Capitol Rotunda at President Trump as his entourage entered the building.

That Hassan decided to suspend the intern, Keene State College Student Caitlin Marriott, for one week was first reported late Monday.

The video of the incident has since gone viral. Governor Sununu says he hopes Senator Hassan will decide to do what he called "the right thing."

After 18 months on the job, Jeanie Forrester is stepping down as leader of the New Hampshire Republican Party.

Citing "an opportunity to work with local government" Forrester announced her resignation in a late afternoon letter sent to her party's executive committee. 

Her resignation comes as both parties gear up for election season. It also follows campaign finance filings showing the state Democratic Party out-raising the New Hampshire GOP by close to 9-1.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Marsy's Law amendment aimed to spell out new rights for victims of sexual and domestic violence in New Hampshire.

And despite having the backing of Governor Chris Sununu, and key lawmakers in both parties, the measure failed badly in the New Hampshire House.

But according to state filings, money doesn't appear to have been the problem. The campaign behind the effort, Marsy's Law For New Hampshire, spent $367,000 to boost the proposal.

josh rogers / nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu signaled he'd veto the death penalty repeal long before lawmakers sent one to his desk. So, at the event his press team billed as an announcement on the repeal bill, the only real suspense was over how many police officers Sununu could squeeze into his office to witness his veto.

With a political resume that includes twenty years in New Hampshire Senate, three terms on the Executive Council, time in the New Hampshire House and a run for governor, Manchester’s Lou D’Allesandro can, at this point, rightly claim to being something of a New Hampshire political institution. 

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Democrat Steve Marchand made his run for governor official. The former Portsmouth mayor says he sees himself as the frontrunner.

Marchand says he hopes to bring progressive values and an auditor's sensibility to the corner office. After he filed his campaign, he said 200 plus campaign events he's held and the thousands of voters he's talked to have taught him a valuable lesson: dDmocrats  want a candidate who is capable of being frank and getting specific.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

State Democrats are gearing up to try do something they haven’t had to do in 14 years: reclaim the governor’s office from an incumbent Republican.

But before they get to the general election, the Democrats will have to select a nominee, a choice between former state senator Molly Kelly and former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand.

Joining Rick Ganley to discuss that race is NHPR’s Josh Rogers. 

NHPR File Photo

Governor Chris Sununu says he's concerned by the public feud between the largest state employees union and the top managers of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.

But, as NHPR's Josh Rogers reports, he says the commission's top manager has his confidence.

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