Politics

Political news from New Hampshire Public Radio, from the State House to the First in the Nation Primary.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster and Republican challenger Steve Negron faced off Thursday at an AARP-sponsored event in Concord.

The two candidates for the state’s 2nd Congressional District debated issues including Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Kuster said she would fight for such programs and she criticized Republican policies she says are putting them at risk.

“I have to say, the only threat to Medicare and Social Security is the tax break for millionaires and billionaires that added $1.5 trillion to the debt.”

josh rogers / nhpr

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.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire’s Sierra Club endorsed more than 100 candidates for state offices Tuesday.

The Sierra Club is endorsing dozens of State House candidates, but only three candidates for state Senate. Only one incumbent senator made the list - Sen. Jay Kahn of Keene. That's partly because a vast majority of sitting senators threw their support earlier this year behind the new Liberty Utilities gas pipeline proposal called Granite Bridge.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / AP

 

A newly formed political action committee says it's trying to "encourage" former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, to run for president.

The group called "Tenaciously Moving for American Change in 2020" announced its formation Tuesday. The group's name is a play on McAuliffe's "TMac" nickname.

Co-founder Shannon Kane said the group is looking to raise McAuliffe's profile in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

1st Congressional District candidates Chris Pappas (D) and Eddie Edwards (R) meet before a live audience at New Hampshire Public Radio's Concord studio. Edwards is a former police chief and Navy veteran, Pappas is an executive councilor and restaurant owner.  The forum covers issues ranging from health care and the opioid crisis, to the economy and guns. 

Hosted by Laura Knoy and NHPR political reporter Lauren Chooljian.

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

 

Former President Barack Obama is endorsing 25 fellow Democrats in New Hampshire.

Obama on Monday tweeted a list of candidates he supports around the country. Among the 180 candidates from 20 states were 25 from New Hampshire — including gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and congressional hopeful Chris Pappas.

Nine state senate candidates also made the list, along with 13 candidates for the House.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote today on whether to move forward with confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. This follows hours of testimony yesterday from Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen joined Morning Edition's Rick Ganley to talk about yesterday's hearing and today's vote.

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.  

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has charged two Hampton residents for allegedly voting in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts during the 2016 general election. But the couple involved say it was all just an "honest mistake" and they were blindsided by a barrage of media calls after the charges were announced. 

Annie Ropeik

The candidates for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional district made their first joint appearance today since their primary wins.

Democrat Chris Pappas and Republican Eddie Edwards took tough questions at a wide-ranging press conference… with high school journalists.

Pappas and Edwards stood side by side in the Oyster River High School multi-purpose room, surrounded by teenagers brandishing reporters' notebooks and cell phone cameras.

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."

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault more than three decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford, will both testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24. The committee was supposed to vote on the nomination this Thursday but faced pressure after Ford went public with her allegation over the weekend.

Ford and Kavanaugh both agreed to testify under oath before the committee.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On Tuesday, Granite Staters went to the polls for New Hampshire’s primary. NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with Dante Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, about what to notice about the results, from voter turnout to geographic indicators for the upcoming state elections.

This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner predicted 180,000 ballots split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. To the best of your knowledge, is that how it worked out? 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Thursday is veto day at the State House. Lawmakers will vote whether to override several controversial vetoes Gov. Chris Sununu handed down this year.

Sununu vetoed six of the bills legislators passed in their 2018 session. Two, dealing with energy, have been especially high-profile.

The vetoed bills would subsidize biomass power, and expand towns' and businesses' ability to sell renewable energy back to the grid.

The timber industry has led the charge to overturn those vetoes, though it's not clear yet if they have the votes to do it.

  The battle for New Hampshire’s 1st District Congressional seat is officially set: It will be Republican Eddie Edwards vs. Democrat Chris Pappas in November.

 

It was a hard fought - often negative - campaign on both sides of the aisle, and voters certainly had their work cut out for them.

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.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Both of New Hampshire's Democratic U.S. senators said Monday they will vote against Brett Kavanaugh as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Shaheen said the nominee is out of step on the scope of a president's executive power, women's right to abortions and pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act.

She also said she's frustrated by the "lack of documentation" produced by Republicans and the nominee's "refusal to answer basic questions about his judicial record and philosophy." She said she believes Republicans are deliberately concealing his record.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters turned out across New Hampshire today for a state primary that included several closely-watched races, including the Democratic primary to select a challenger for Governor Sununu, and primaries on both sides in in the 1st Congressional District.

CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED ELECTION RESULTS. 

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

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

In the final day of a bitter fight for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District, frontrunners Andy Sanborn and Eddie Edwards say tomorrow's primary comes down to character and conservatism.

Over the weekend, state Sen. Andy Sanborn was endorsed by the NRA and from two fellow state senators Bill Gannon and Bob Giuda.

The endorsements touted Sanborn's voting record while in the Legislature.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District has attracted about $1.2 million in outside spending so far, with most of it going to Democrats Maura Sullivan and Chris Pappas.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

With Primary Day upon us and new state voting rules on the books, here's a primer on what you need to know before heading out to the polls Tuesday.

What's this election all about?

Tomorrow's election is a primary, in which voters will choose nominees of their respective parties - Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian - to run for office in the general election, which takes place in November.

Logan Shannon/NHPR

A hearing that could decide the fate of the voter registration law known as Senate Bill 3 began Aug. 27 in Manchester and continued for nearly two full weeks, concluding Sept. 7.

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.

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