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Launching Senate Bid, Bill O'Brien Says: 'I'll Never Live in the World of Washington'

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former Republican House Speaker Bill O’Brien is running for U.S. Senate.

He’ll face off with at least one other Republican candidate, retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, hoping to unseat Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen in 2020.

As a state representative from Mont Vernon, O'Brien earned a reputation as a relentless – often uncompromising - champion of conservative values.

Speaking on Tuesday to a packed American Legion post in Manchester, O’Brien vowed to continue this fight in Washington, D.C.

"I have proven that when it comes to fighting for freedom and economic growth, when it comes to fighting for our New Hampshire families, I know the fight and I won’t let you down," he said.

Credit Sarah Gibson for NHPR
Over 100 former colleagues and supporters of Bill O'Brien attended his campaign launch.

O’Brien accused Shaheen of promoting socialism and advocating for environmental and health care policies that hurt small businesses.

"She has become extreme," he said. "She is controlled by - in fact, she is - the swamp."

O'Brien promised to work with President Trump to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and loosen governmental regulations, but said he would answer first to his constituents at home.

“I’ll never live in the world of Washington,” he said. “I live in the other world: the New Hampshire world where we put food on our table, where we meet our obligations, where we raise our own children and don’t ask government to raise our children.”

In response to O'Brien's announcement, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley released the following statement:

"New Hampshire voters remember Bill O'Brien was a mirror image of Donald Trump before Trump ever ran for President. In office, they both made sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, defunding Planned Parenthood, and undermining voting rights their top priorities."

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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