Josh Rogers

Senior Political Reporter and Editor

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPR’s State House reporter. Before joining the staff, he lived in New York, where he worked for a number of different magazines.

Josh’s award winning reporting can be heard locally but also regularly airs on national broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Josh is also a frequent analyst on political talk shows in the state. He grew up in Concord, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Reed College.

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Dan Tuohy

The Republican primary to choose a nominee to take on incumbent Democratic Congressman Chris Pappas is getting crowded. A former Dover city councilor who was also vice chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party is the latest candidate to announce his entry into the race. 

Courtesy

Governor Chris Sununu says Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard should resign immediately in the wake of an aggravated DWI conviction. Hilliard has said he plans to stay on the job.

"The sheriff has been convicted of a serious crime and should resign immediately," Sununu said in a statement.

Scott Hilliard has been sentenced to five days in jail and lost his driving privileges for 18 months, but has said is seeking for forgiveness and plans to remain on the job at least until his current term expires in December.

Electric Tobacconist via Flickr CC / www.electrictobacconist.com/

Bills to outlaw e-cigarettes and ban all flavored vaping products, save for menthol, went before a New Hampshire House committee today.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, New Hampshire teens vape at a rate that's nearly twice the national average, and lawmakers are looking hard at tightening standards. But people who sell vaping products turned out in force to oppose new restrictions.

Thomas Slaniack owns Raven Vapes in Tilton. He says outlawing flavors, let alone a total ban on e-cigarettes, will end poorly.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Members of the legislative ethics committee are backing legislation to better define conflicts of interest for New Hampshire lawmakers.

The bill, HB1694, was filed in the wake of a warning the committee issued to the House's current Majority Leader.

NHPR Photo

Lawmakers returned to Concord this week, and Democrats are moving fast to pass their core priorities, including measures Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed last year.

Jason Moon / NHPR

A recent poll from CBS news finds that voters in New Hampshire see former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democrat most likely to defeat President Trump in 2020. But he's also the Democrat who generates the lowest level of excitement among supporters.

Voters still considering Biden appear to be navigating that apparent contradiction in the final weeks of the primary race.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Democratic Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House today failed to override two vetoes handed down last year by Republican Governor Chris Sununu. The votes complete action by lawmakers on Sununu's 2019 vetoes.

In 2019, Sununu vetoed 57 bills, a record that far exceeded the number of bills vetoed by any other New Hampshire governor.

Of the vetoes, 55 were upheld.

josh rogers/nhpr

    

State Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley says he's confident New Hampshire will keep its prized place in the presidential nominating calendar in 2024, regardless of who's elected president in November.

Via Frank's Taxi's website

The owner and employees of a Rochester taxi company have been charged with defrauding the state's Medicaid program.

via Booking.com

An early morning explosion and fire at the Element Hotel in Lebanon on Tuesday sent two firefighters to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

The firefighters were responding to an alarm that went off at 5:15 a.m. When crews arrived, there was an explosion.

"At this point it doesn't seem to be criminal in nature at all and it's just contained to one hotel building," says Deputy State Fire Marshall Danielle Cole. "But we still have a team on scene right now working with town and state officials, just trying to figure out what happened."

Josh Rogers | NHPR

While the leading Democratic presidential candidates were debating in California Thursday night, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who got into the race just last month, had New Hampshire all to himself.

Dan Tuohy | NHPR

Four years ago, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders started small in New Hampshire, but ended up winning the state's presidential primary big.

In the 2020 race, Sanders entered the Democratic primary as a top contender, and nothing - not the huge field, not other candidates adopting his key policy proposals, not even a heart attack - has changed that.


Courtesy photo

Governor Chris Sununu is nominating Lori Shibinette to lead the state's Health and Human Services department.

Shibinette is well-known in state government, and, according to the governor, her operational experienced is "unmatched."

UNH

A new study from the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School shows more than one in five potential 2020 New Hampshire primary voters will be new to the electorate. The study says that's just one of several factors in what it terms a changing political landscape.

Via Dartmouth College

Governor Chris Sununu has named a former district court judge who also worked as a prosecutor and public defender to lead New Hampshire's adult parole board.

Jennifer Sargent joined the parole board last month. On January 15, she'll succeed former House Speaker Donna Sytek as its chair.

The board typically meets a few days each month and holds close to 2000 individual hearings a year.

In a statement, Sununu said he was confident Sargent's varied experience will "help usher in a new era at the Parole Board."

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu issued an executive order to authorize a policy allowing state workers to bring their children to work up to the age of six months.

Sununu says similar policies have worked in other states and that allowing it in New Hampshire could make it easier for the state to recruit and retain younger workers.

With an aging state workforce, Sununu says he doesn't expect too many current state employees to take advantage of the option of bringing an infant to work. But he thinks opening up that possibility is important.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The question of how Democrats define themselves – beyond opposing President Trump – is one that New Hampshire primary voters will soon face.  And as primary day creeps closer, some leading presidential candidates are working to put their differences in sharper relief. And perhaps no two candidates better illustrate the different approaches to those questions than Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom campaigned in the state Friday.

Tom Roy | The NH Union Leader

Gov. Chris Sununu's reelection campaign raised almost half a million dollars over the past six months.

That haul was made easier by Sununu's veto of a bill earlier this year that sought to limit contributions from certain corporations. 

Heath Alseike via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pgKVSD

Efforts to loosen New Hampshire's marijuana laws appear to be losing momentum at the State House, as separate Senate committees took action this week against bills that would make marijuana more accessible.

NHPR Staff

The legal challenge to the 2017 GOP-backed voting law known as Senate Bill 3 went to trial today in Superior Court in Manchester.

The law tightened rules for people registering to vote in New Hampshire, requiring them to provide documents proving their residency if they register within 30 days of an election.

With the late entrance of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick into the 2020 presidential race, there are now four candidates from neighboring states campaigning in New Hampshire. In addition to Patrick, that list includes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter Josh about the track record of candidates from next door in the New Hampshire primary.

Fried Dough via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/aPJjrx

A state senate committee has voted to back a bill to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products in New Hampshire to 21. The move comes just months after the state budget bumped up the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 19.

The Democrats who control the Senate Commerce Committee say it's time make 21 the legal age to buy tobacco. The 3 to 2 party line committee vote ensures the tobacco age debate will restart when the full legislature returns to Concord in January. The commitee's Democrats voted in favor of the bill, the Republicans against. 

File Photo, NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is taking his effort to move back school start dates to Florida. The governor has been pushing the idea of requiring New Hampshire's schools to delay the start of the school year until after Labor Day.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Candidates have until the end of this week to file with the New Hampshire Secretary of State to get on the ballot for the 2020 first-in-the-nation presidential primary. But there’s been some attention on the decision by a few candidates – or potential candidates – to not file in person, or at all.

NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers and All Things Considered host Peter Biello sat down to discuss the implications of that decision.

So we're nearing the end of New Hampshire's filing period. What is the filing period? What is its purpose?

Josh Rogers / NHPR

It’s rare these days for a viable presidential campaign to believe that prolonged proximity to reporters is to a candidate’s benefit. But that's the bet the campaign of South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is making. For the past three days, Buttigieg has been traveling New Hampshire by bus – a la John McCain and his fabled Straight Talk Express of 20 years ago – accompanied by reporters invited to ask the candidate whatever they chose.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff has suspended State Rep. Tamara Le from the House Education Committee for a Facebook post in which Le used a profanity to deride private and religious schools.

Le represents North Hampton, where she is also a school board member. Her legislative district also includes Newington, Greenland and a ward in Portsmouth.

Josh Rogers | NHPR

On a recent Friday morning, an audience of businesspeople lined up for photos with Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Bullock, who's running for the Democratic presidential nomination, appeared at ease when it came time to grip-and-grin. He offered lots of eye contact, a firm handshake, the occasional clap on the back.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky has joined Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes in the Democratic primary for New Hampshire governor.

Both men are Concord lawyers: Volinsky is best known as the lead attorney in the Claremont education funding lawsuits; Feltes spent years as a legal aid lawyer before running for office.

Both men see themselves are leaders on progressive issues.

And both men, in their respective roles at the State House, have the ability to stymie Gov. Chris Sununu’s agenda in the coming year, even before Election Day rolls around in 2020.

josh rogers /nhpr

In 2016, Steve Bullock won re-election as a Democrat in Montana, which is a state Donald Trump carried by 20 points.

He told the crowd who turned out to hear him in Manchester, at the Politics and Eggs speaking series, not to discount the need to appeal to voters who don't live on the coasts, people who live in places like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Jason Moon for NHPR

In remarks Tuesday to the New England Council, a corporate group that typically steers a middle course politically, Gov. Chris Sununu said Democrats in Concord have embraced extremism and latched on to what he termed a clown car of presidential hopefuls.

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