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Sununu says he won't endorse "conspiracy-theory type" Bolduc in Senate Republican primary

Governor Chris Sununu gestures during a press conference in his office in June 2022
Todd Bookman

Gov. Chris Sununu says he may look to influence the outcomes of next month’s Republican primaries, including the high-profile races for U.S. Senate and the state’s 1st Congressional district. But Sununu has ruled out supporting GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc, who he says would make it harder for Republicans to defeat incumbent Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan.

“He’s not a serious candidate, he’s really not, and if he were the GOP nominee I have no doubt we would have a much harder time,” Sununu said of Bolduc on WGIR radio Friday. “He’s kind of a conspiracy theorist-type candidate.”

Bolduc has repeatedly criticized Sununu during his campaign, claiming last year that Sununu is a “communist Chinese sympathizer,” and that the Sununu family’s business “supports terrorism.”

Bolduc has walked back those claims, but in a debate this week, Bolduc derided Sununu’s COVID-19 policies as “executive overreach” and reiterated his view that Sununu declined to run for Senate due to poll numbers that purportedly showed Bolduc would be tough to beat.

Bolduc’s campaign declined to respond directly to Sununu’s comments Friday, but in a statement, indicated Bolduc’s message is working.’

“He’s the only candidate inspiring voters in this primary and his common sense message has broad appeal because the hardships people have gone through aren’t partisan, but they are personal,” said Rick Wiley, an advisor to the Bolduc campaign.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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