Politics

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

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu has promised to veto a bill that would abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. But some of his fellow Republicans say ending capital punishment makes fiscal sense.

They're hoping that argument could, in part, help sway enough votes to overturn a veto.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, The Exchange on Monday interviews Levi Sanders, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

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U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is heading to New Hampshire for a GOP fundraiser next month.

The outspoken supporter of school choice, school vouchers and charter schools will headline the New Hampshire Republican Party's annual "Spring to Victory" fundraiser May 14 at the Atkinson Country Club.

New Hampshire GOP Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester says DeVos' presence "will serve as a great opportunity to energize and mobilize Granite State Republicans."

Sara Plourde

After years of having to choose between the same two candidates, voters in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional district are now faced with a flood of candidates who want to fill retiring Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's seat. 

As of April 23rd, there are eight Democrats and two Republicans in the race. And with the September primary months away, there's always time for more to join. 

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we check in on the race with NHPR's State of Democracy reporter, Lauren Chooljian, who has been following the candidates and attending forums. We'll talk about campaign spending and various candidate events around the state. 

Democrat Maura Sullivan continues to blitz past all other candidates running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional district when it comes to fundraising — and, as was the case during her inaugural months in the race, most of her campaign money continues to come from outside New Hampshire.

Valentina Tabatchikova for NHPR

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump will spend part of Tax Day in New Hampshire. The two White House officials will host a town hall discussion on taxes Tuesday afternoon at the Derry Opera House to highlight passage of the recent tax overhaul.

The event kicks off at 1 pm and will be moderated by former Governor John H. Sununu.

NHPR Staff

Ahead of another student walk out to protest gun violence, around 200 gun rights advocates had their say outside the New Hampshire statehouse Saturday.

The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans organized similar events outside statehouses across the country. Despite biting cold weather, gun owners and second amendment advocates from across New Hampshire showed up to hear a range of speakers and to show opposition to any further firearm restrictions.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A crowd of about 600 New Hampshire Democrats gathered in Nashua for one of their biggest events of the year, the McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we talk with Deaglan McEachern, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Former Missouri Secretary of State (and possible 2020 presidential candidate) Jason Kander is returning to New Hampshire to headline a major Democratic party fundraiser Saturday night. 

But apart from his occasional appearances at party events over the past few months, Kander’s political committee, Let America Vote, has all the while been building an on-the-ground presence in the Granite State: rallying opposition to Republican-backed voting laws at the State House and support for Democratic candidates in local races. 

NHPR Staff

A bill that would establish a position for a New Hampshire state demographer cleared the Senate Thursday.

 

The bill’s supporters argue that hiring someone to study the state’s changing population is key to making informed decisions on proposed laws and budgets.

 

Eric Herr, formerly the Board Chair of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, testified during a hearing earlier this month.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A review of sexual harassment and misconduct complaints against lawmakers across the country shows a half dozen New Hampshire House members faced allegations in the last few years.

The Associated Press filed records requests in every state seeking information on complaints made since 2008. The New Hampshire House provided information about eight complaints involving six members, but it only had records dating back to 2015. The Senate said it had no records of such complaints.

Courtesy Photo via Cole Riel

A proposal to change New Hampshire’s residency laws as a way to tighten voting eligibility drew hours of testimony, most of it in opposition, before the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee on Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former New Hampshire state Senator Molly Kelly, a Democrat, says she's running for governor.

Kelly, of Harrisville, says in a video released at midnight Monday that she worked in the Senate on getting training and education for advanced manufacturing jobs, but that funding has been cut.

She also said she would veto any plan that takes money from public schools to pay for vouchers for private schools.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire hospitals are stepping up to make sure the state’s alcohol fund is financially sound for the next five years.

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we talk with Terence O'Rourke, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

O'Rourke is the City Attorney for Rochester and a military veteran who served as an officer in the Iraq War. O'Rourke also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Alabama, and in New Hampshire as assistant county attorney in Rockingham and Carroll counties. 

Our Race for the First conversations will focus on the issues at the forefront in the CD1 race, including opioids, guns, veterans, and how each candidate plans to stand out in a crowded race. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

The New Hampshire House of Representatives dealt a blow Thursday to one of Governor Chris Sununu’s key priorities on the opioid front, the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative.

The effort aims to link the private sector to the drug crisis by helping businesses better attract and retain people in recovery.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is backing Executive Councilor Chris Pappas in the crowded 1st Congressional District race.

It’s pretty early for a big endorsement like this -- the primary election isn’t until September. But Hassan, a Democrat, told a crowd of people inside Water Street Books in Exeter that people keep asking her who she’s voting for and she decided it’s best to tell them now.

NHPR File Photo

Opponents of a bill that seeks to increase regulation of commercial dog breeders say the measure will do little to prevent cases of animal cruelty.

During a public hearing on Wednesday, Jane Barlow Roy with the New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association told a House Environment and Agriculture Committee that while she believes Senate Bill 569 is well intentioned, its new regulations won’t protect animals from harm and doesn’t stop people from hoarding pets.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State Senators heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would expand the state’s only existing school choice program.

Under the existing system, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they make donations to scholarships which can be used on a number of educational purposes, including private school tuition, college courses, and homeschool expenses.

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

  And just like that, it was primary season again in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

But does it really ever end?

Two past (and potentially present) presidential hopefuls, Martin O’Malley and John Kasich, made their way through the first-in-the-nation primary state Tuesday.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

In this Race For The 1st conversation, we talk with Mindi Messmer, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District.

Scroll down for NHPR News takeaways from this interview

Messmer, a first-term legislator from Rye, runs an environmental consulting firm.  As a legislator, she serves on the Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee, and on the Commission to Study Environmentally-Triggered Chronic Illness and the Commission on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Investigations. 

Our Race For The First conversations will focus on the issues at the forefront in the CD1 race, including opioids, guns, veterans, and how each candidate plans to stand out in a crowded race. 

Britta Greene for NHPR

Local officials from all corners of the state lined up Thursday for a hearing on a bill about who should have the power to delay town elections, for snowstorms or otherwise.

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The New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill that would allow two more medical marijuana dispensaries to open in the state.

 

Lawmakers legalized medical use of marijuana for the treatment of a limited number of conditions in 2013. It can be purchased at licensed alternative treatment centers in Lebanon, Dover, Merrimack and Plymouth.

 

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

  New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu beamed as he looked out upon a room packed with 60 round tables, each one full of supporters.

“A little daunting once you finally get up here. I’m absolutely humbled, absolutely humbled at the turnout,” he said to the crowd.   

It may have been Sununu’s party at the Manchester Downtown Hotel Thursday night, but it was Vice President Mike Pence who got top billing.

NHPR Staff

Dissatisfied with both the incumbent and his well-financed challenger, another Democrat is putting himself forward as an alternative to longtime Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Former Manchester Representative and Alderman Peter Sullivan says he respects Gardner’s 42 years years of service in the position but believes it’s time to put someone more forward-thinking in the role.

Photo Credit Katja Rupp, via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire lawmakers have referred a bill legalizing recreational use of marijuana to further study, dealing a blow to those who hoped the Granite State would join neighboring states in relaxing regulations on the drug.

The House gave preliminary approval to the bill earlier this year. It would allow adults to possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and cultivate it in limited qualities.

Flickr/ Anne and Tim (Creative Commons)

The third time seems to be the charm on efforts to get a paid family and medical leave bill through the New Hampshire House. 

But the most recent passage came only after heated debate over a last-minute amendment from the House Finance Committee that would have made drastic changes to the version of the program that passed the House twice before.

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As Dave Carney tells it, September of 1982 was a rough time for John H. Sununu’s campaign for governor.

“We we were broke,” Carney, a longtime political strategist, recalled recently. “We had no money, we couldn’t pay staff. Not that he paid very much anyways…”

 


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