Casey McDermott

Investigative & Data Reporter/Editor

Credit John W. Hession

Casey McDermott covers politics and policy, with a focus on data and accountability reporting.

Prior to joining NHPR, Casey worked at The Concord Monitor and held internships at ProPublica, the Student Press Law Center and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

She studied journalism and sociology at Penn State but spent most of her days (and nights) in the newsroom of the independent student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. The Collegian was recognized nationally for its work during Casey's time as its managing editor and editor-in-chief.

New Hampshire Campaign Finance System

Candidates running for office in New Hampshire can run up a tab on all kinds of expenses: lawn signs, postage, snacks for fundraisers, radio ads, print ads, digital ads and more.

But some lawmakers lean on campaign donations to cover other, less obvious expenses that pile up on the campaign trail, or even while they’re in office: things like car repairs, dry cleaning bills and floral arrangements.

When faced with questions earlier this year about the thousands of dollars paid out from his inaugural committee to his sister and top political advisor, Gov. Chris Sununu’s team said those payments followed state and federal regulations, and “the organization’s bylaws and conflict of interest policy.”

But when NHPR asked to see those bylaws and conflict of interest policy, Sununu’s team declined.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Richard Lobban was among the roughly 50 people who packed inside the Rockingham County Democrats Regional Office in Londonderry to hear Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren make her presidential campaign pitch Saturday night.

Lobban said he was — like a lot of his fellow New Hampshire Democrats — still very much untethered to any of the 18 declared candidates in the race for the 2020 presidential nomination.

Legislative Ethics Committee website

Back in February, New Hampshire’s Legislative Ethics Committee started its first, and thus far only, meeting of the year with cause for celebration: For the first time since anyone on the committee could remember, all 424 legislators submitted their mandatory financial disclosure forms on time.

But making a deadline is only one part of the equation when it comes to New Hampshire’s financial disclosure process. Making sure that paperwork is filled out correctly and completely — that’s quite another.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers only get paid $100 a year — not exactly enough to feed a family — so it’s no surprise that many of them rely on other sources of income to get by.

As a result, state lawmakers end up dealing with all kinds of proposals that can directly impact their family finances, the taxes they pay, the companies where they work, or the boards on which they serve.

NHPR

Republicans may be in the minority at the State House this year, but they have one important advantage when it comes to blocking Democratic-backed bills: Governor Chris Sununu and, specifically, his veto pen.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu’s proposed state budget includes a plan to steer roughly $168 million in surplus state money to dozens of one-time projects, ranging from new traffic lights to park upgrades to grants for a handful of nonprofits.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Local lobbying firms and major corporations make up most of the most recent donations to Governor Chris Sununu's inaugural fund, according to the committee’s latest fundraising report.

The Sununu Inaugural Committee raised more than $250,000 since the governor's re-election last November. More than $160,000 of that haul came from corporations and PACs.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

Battles over ballot access have been raging for decades at the New Hampshire State House, and this year is no exception.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Senate Democrats are leading an effort to change how complaints of harassment and discrimination involving lawmakers are addressed in the State House, by establishing a new human resources officer who would be responsible for investigating those allegations.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Officials with the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles and the statewide organization representing town clerks are among those raising concerns about a new proposal that would allow people to start the voter registration process at the DMV.

The New Hampshire primary is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 11, 2020, which is only — or "still," depending on your tolerance for campaign coverage — about a year away.

And for the past half-century, one of the most recognizable symbols of the Granite State's early electoral contest has been Dixville Notch's midnight vote.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Once every four years, for a brief moment, it seems the whole world turns its eyes to Dixville Notch.

Since 1960, voters in this tiny Coos County community have been casting their ballots just after the stroke of midnight to mark the official start of the New Hampshire presidential primary.

Casey McDermott

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand returned to New Hampshire Friday night for her first visit since announcing plans to run for president.

Allegra Boverman

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says a new law that prevents the state's voter database from being subpoenaed as evidence in ongoing lawsuits is valid — which means it can also apply to a case that started before that new prohibition went into effect.

Ben Vihstadt

A law that passed the year he was elected made Chris Sununu the first New Hampshire governor required to disclose the activities of his inaugural committee. And to hear Sununu tell it, that committee - the Sununu Inaugural Celebration, Inc. - has more than delivered when it comes to transparency.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Anti-harassment training has been offered at the State House for years — but it hasn't always been well-attended.

Casey McDermott

We’re still more than a year away from the official start of the 2020 presidential race, barring any schedule changes from the powers that set the date of New Hampshire’s “first-in-the-nation” presidential primary. But as more states move to expand early voting and absentee ballot options, New Hampshire's “first-in-the-nation” voters might be far from the first voters to cast ballots for president in 2020.

In one of his first major acts as House Speaker, Democrat Steve Shurtleff will try to bring back a ban on weapons inside the House chamber.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker may not yet be ready to commit to a 2020 presidential bid – even after spending the weekend taking selfies, holding meetings, and otherwise testing the waters in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

But at a rally celebrating New Hampshire Democrats’ midterm victories Saturday, state party Chairman Ray Buckley gave Booker the kind of introduction most presidential hopefuls can only dream of.

For the last four decades, the road to the White House has run through New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner's office.

On one side, there’s an ambitious young politician pitching himself as the man to bring overdue reforms to the New Hampshire’s election system; on the other, there’s an elder statesman drawing on deep institutional ties and a long resume in Concord to win over votes.

This might sound a lot like this year’s race for Secretary of State, which pits former gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern against 42-year incumbent Bill Gardner. But it also describes Gardner’s first campaign for Secretary of Stateback in 1976.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The newly elected class of New Hampshire legislators barely had time to take a victory lap in their own races earlier this month before they started fielding messages about another campaign — this time, for the Secretary of State. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Former Manchester lawmaker Peter Sullivan appeared disappointed but undeterred after losing Thursday's House Democratic Caucus nomination for Secretary of State, despite receiving just 3 percent of the vote.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire House Democrats have put Secretary of State Bill Gardner — a 42-year incumbent and a longtime Democrat himself — on notice that he could be out of a job soon.

Facebook Ad Archive

The final weeks of last week’s midterm campaign saw a flurry of partisan activity: Last-minute Facebook ads touting Gov. Chris Sununu’s plan for paid family and medical leave. Fliers criticizing Republican lawmakers “who cozy up to big corporations and special interests.” Phone banks backed by a group called "Families First," encouraging voters to support Democrats on Election Day.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State attorneys fielded 185 calls to their Election Day hotline this week — ranging from traffic complaints to registration questions to problems with voting equipment — but most complaints were resolved without the need for any formal investigation.

Bethlehem Reimagined on Facebook

In about half of New Hampshire polling places, votes are still tallied up by hand. And that was the case in Bethlehem until Tuesday night — when a new ballot counting device made its debut, thanks to a community fundraising campaign.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The midterm elections might seem like a national event. But in reality, the election process is a decidedly local affair. That’s especially true in New Hampshire, where voting is run at the town level.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Election Day is Tuesday. Here's a primer on what you need to know before heading to the polls. Click here for a Spanish language version of this guide.

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