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N.H. Democrats move to set terms of general election after Republicans wrap up primary races

Signs in Manchester's Ward 3 polling place, Sept. 13, 2022.
Gaby Lozada / NHPR
Signs in Manchester's Ward 3 polling place, Sept. 13, 2022.

After a string of primary victories this week by Republican candidates aligned with President Trump, New Hampshire Democrats running for re-election launched their campaigns Wednesday, highlighting what they call the extreme positions of their GOP opponents.

Congressman Chris Pappas kicked off his general election campaign with a virtual event Wednesday highlighting his work on gun safety, investments in science and technology, and support for veterans exposed to toxic chemicals.

Pappas’s opponent in November will be Karoline Leavitt, who surged to capture the GOP nomination in the 1st Congressional District. Pappas said her positions are too, quote, extreme for New Hampshire, including on abortion rights.

“We can’t trust Karoline Leavitt and the other radical Republicans who are running for Congress to stand up for our New Hampshire values, and to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Pappas said.

Democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster also stressed abortion rights as she launched her general election campaign via a Zoom event Wednesday. She’s facing Republican Bob Burns.

The five term incumbent stressed her seniority on congressional committees and said she expects plenty of the debate in this race against Burns to be about individual liberties, particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v Wade. Burns supports limiting abortion rights in the wake of that ruling, including a “fetal heartbeat” bill.

"Protecting our personal and private lives from government intervention, we are going to be talking about lowering costs, and keeping our communities and our families safe,” Kuster said.

Burns, who ran on a pro-Trump platform says Kuster is out of touch with New Hampshire after five terms in Washington and beholden to corporate interests.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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