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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josh rogers / nhpr

Steve Shurtleff has been House Democratic leader for six years and Democrats gave him an easy win over Hampton progressive Renny Cushing. After the 182-43 vote, Shurtleff said earning the confidence of his caucus, which, pending recounts, will hold a 34-seat majority in the House, means a lot.

"I'm very touched, as someone who grew up here in Concord, seeing the State House so many times, to be the nominee for speaker is a great honor."

File photo

Governor Chris Sununu has tapped a Republican former colleague on the Executive Council to join New Hampshire's Superior Court. St. Hilaire of Concord is now a top manager at the state Liquor Commission.

Apart from serving as general counsel to the commission, St. Hilaire has been a city prosecutor, won election as Merrimack county attorney, and worked in private practice and as a state hearings officer.

From 2011-2013, he served alongside Governor Sununu on the Executive Council.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Pending recounts, Democrats will hold a 66-seat majority next year in the New Hampshire House. That makes electing a Democratic speaker all but certain.

Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord) has led his party in the House for three terms, but Renny Cushing (D-Hampton), who's pushed to end the death penalty and legalize marijuana, says there ought to be a choice.

Tom Roy / Union Leader

While voters chose to reelect Gov. Chris Sununu on Tuesday, they also voted to put both chambers of the state Legislature and the Executive Council in the hands of Democrats, reversing the State House's current balance of power.  These changes will test the governor, which he acknowledged during his victory speech.

Tom Roy | The NH Union Leader

Governor Chris Sununu won second term in Concord on Tuesday. He beat Democrat Molly Kelly by racking up votes in GOP towns and holding steady or better in the state’s two largest cities.

But Sununu will now have to work with a state legislature and executive council under Democratic control.

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

The divisive 2018 midterm campaign is quickly drawing to a close.

Over the weekend - candidates and volunteers knocked on doors, shook hands - and in some cases went grocery shopping - as they tried to make their final get out the vote push.

NHPR’s Lauren Chooljian and Josh Rogers were also on the trail.

Via Twitter

If you catch Gov. Chris Sununu at the State House or on the campaign trail, it generally won’t be long before he drops a certain biographical tidbit:

“I’m an engineer by trade, a civil and environmental engineer....” “My focus as an environmental engineer…” “I was an environmental engineer…. “I love the concept, I’m an environmental engineer...”

But by the governor’s own accounting, it’s been a decade since he's really worked as an engineer. And Sununu’s political opponents have questioned his professional credentials for years.

allegra boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu and the Democrat hoping to replace him, former State Senator Molly Kelly met in debate last night on NHPR. Joining me now to discuss is Josh Rogers.

OK. Josh, last night’s debate at Manchester Community College was the second of the general election, but the first for live statewide broadcast – and by the way we’ll be playing that debate back at 9am. You and Laura Knoy were asking the questions. So what in this debate stood out for you?

Jason Moon for NHPR

Chris Sununu is popular incumbent governor from a political family of national prominence. He also enjoys the social aspects of poltics.

You’d think he’d be a prolific political fundraiser.

But a look at Sununu’s fundraising totals for this election – about $1.5 million – would prove you wrong.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Governor Chris Sununu holds a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Molly Kelly. That's according to a new UNH poll that finds Sununu ejoying stronger partisan support, but says Democrats are more motivated to vote.

Click here to read the poll results

Fifty percent of those polled by UNH say they plan to vote for Sununu; 39 percent say they'll vote for Kelly.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is entering the final stretch of his reelection effort with a $200,000 financial edge over Democratic challenger Molly Kelly. But Kelly has outraised Sununu 3 to 1 since the state primary.

Sununu’s campaign has collected close to $1.5 million in overall donations but only $110,000 since last month’s primary. Kelly, meanwhile has hauled in nearly $350,000 over the same period. The bulk of Kelly’s money is derived from donations less than $100.

josh rogers / nhpr

Hospitals will operate seven of the nine hubs at the center of the Sununu administration's newly designed approach to treating substance abuse. But despite the promise of millions of dollars in aid, no hospitals in Manchester or Nashua chose to participate in the program.

josh rogers / nhpr

Democratic candidate for Governor Molly Kelly brought her push for creating a state paid family leave program to a Londonderry apple orchard Wednesday.  

Kelly has been talking up paid family leave for weeks. The issue is the subject of her lone general election ad, and to hear the candidate tell it, this near exclusive focus isn't going to change anytime soon.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams stressed the role the overdose reversing drug Naloxone needs to play in reducing opioid deaths. Adams was in Concord to address an opioid forum convened by Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Adams told a ballroom full of people steeped in New Hampshire's opioid epidemic that a lethal drug overdose takes place every 11 seconds in America, and that 50 percent of them happen at home.

Adams says the numbers underscore the need for more people to make a habit of carrying medicine that can undo overdoses.

josh rogers / nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu says he plans to renew his push to enact the victims rights constitutional amendment known as Marsy's Law. Lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected the measure earlier this year.

josh rogers / nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu says he plans to push for more funding at the state university system for science and engineering education. 

Sununu used remarks at a New England Council breakfast to hint at some of future plans should he win reelection. Prime among them, the governor said, was boosting the number of home-grown workers to help power what Sununu expects to be a growing bio-tech sector.

NHPR Photo

Governor Chris Sununu says he can't judge Brett Kavanaugh's judicial temperament based on Kavanaugh's testimony before the U.S. Senate. 

Sununu signed a letter supporting Kavanaugh's nomination shortly after it was announced. Molly Kelly, his Democratic challenger, was deadset against Kavanaugh from the start. During a visit to a Concord health Clinic, Kelly said that adding Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court puts abortion rights at risk, and Sununu knows it.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Newly released court documents use Whitefield State Senator Jeff Woodburn's personal diaries to corroborate the domestic violence charges faced by the former Senate Democratic Leader.

According to an affidavit filed by a state investigator, last Christmas Day Woodburn wrote in his diary that he was "focused on my failure to control my anger,"  "It is becoming regular and it scares me."

In an earlier entry, from that August, Woodburn describes kicking the door off the dryer after an argument that included his partner throwing his clothes out on the lawn.

josh rogers / nhpr

Gov. Chris Sununu and Molly Kelly both picked up big union endorsements today in the race for governor.

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire haven't endorsed a Republican for governor since Craig Benson in 2004, but the union also tends to back incumbents. Union President Bill McQuillen says this year's choice was easy, given Sununu's record on matters of concern to firefighters.

"I can tell you with confidence that Governor Sununu has yet to tell us no on an important issue of ours."

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Members of New Hampshire's energy industry joined lawmakers Monday at the state’s annual energy summit, which helps set priorities for next year's legislative session.

They debated the policies – and politics – that could help lower the region’s high electric costs, diversify and stabilize fuel supplies, and reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Governor Chris Sununu and Democratic rival Molly Kelly presented contrasting ideas on those issues at the start of the summit.  

Both of New Hampshire U.S. Senators went on record last week saying they would vote against Brett Kavanaugh.

But the Democrats now say the Senate should hold off on any vote on Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court until the Senate can examine the accusation made against him by Christine Blasey Ford.

In a statement, Maggie Hassan says Ford, now a California college professor, has shown great courage in speaking out and that "we must ensure the process treats her with dignity."

Fresh off a easy victory against a write-in opponent recruited by the Democratic Party, Jeff Woodburn returned to the state house for veto override day Thursday. All but one of his fellow Democrats in the Senate urged him to resign last month when he was charged with domestic violence. Woodburn says he intends to continue serving in Concord.

"The only people I'm expecting support from are people in my district. They are the ones who have given me this job and they are the only ones who are going to take it away."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu hasn't always gotten his way with the Republcian-controlled Legislature. Its override of a biomass energy veto bill this week is but the freshest example. But Sununu told fellow Republicans at the party's Unity Breakfast Thursday that their work in Concord -- to cut taxes, reduce regulation, foster educational choice, and boost business development -- will help them win in November.

Michael Moore / The Keene Sentinel

Former state senate Molly Kelly cruised to victory over Steve Marchand Tuesday in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. It was a big win for her, and for the party establishment who threw their support to Kelly from the moment she became a candidate.

Kelly’s margin of victory– she beat Steve Marchand by about 2 to 1 and carried all but a few small towns – was large. And as Kelly addressed supporters in Keene, she said her win should serve as a notice to Chris Sununu.

“Let me send a message to Chris Sununu: Do not underestimate me. I’ve been underestimated before.”

NHPR File Photo

Primary Day can simply be the day when voters choose who will represent their parties during the general elections.

But primaries can also shape - or reshape - a party, and sometimes in lasting ways. This year could be one of those times for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Joining All Things Considered host Peter Biello to talk about these particular primary politics is Josh Rogers.

Note: This transcript has been edited for clarity

josh rogers / nhpr

 

 

Democratic candidates for governor Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand are working to stoke support -- and pounding core messages -- in advance of Tuesday's primary.

Gov. Chris Sununu/Twitter

For the Democratic candidates running for New Hampshire governor, it’s crunch time. All week long Steve Marchand and Molly Kelly have worked to get attention from voters and the press. Between now and Tuesday, that hustling will be almost non-stop.

For Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is running for reelection but doesn’t face a primary, the political pace is decidedly less frantic. Incumbency helps, but so does Sununu’s personality. 

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Since the 1970s, every candidate running for governor—or any other major office in New Hampshire—has faced the question: will they pledge to oppose a broad-based sales or income tax?

This year, some prominent Democrats say it is long past time to stop taking what is known as The Pledge. But its political pull remains strong.

To understand how the pledge continues to shape—and some might say warp—politics within the New Hampshire Democratic Party, consider this recent exchange between the party’s two gubernatorial candidates at Dartmouth College.

John McCain was a mentor to Kelly Ayotte in the U.S. Senate, and Ayotte has been asked to read from the Biblical Book of Wisdom at McCain's funeral service at the National Cathedral.

McCain will be eulogized by two men who dashed the two-time New Hampshire presidential primary winner's hopes at reaching the White House, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman will also give readings, as will several McCain family members.

 

More than 200 Republicans gathered in Windham last night for a roast of former Gov. John H. Sununu. 

 

John Sununu has always been known for his biting comments. But on this day, almost all of those were directed his way. Former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, the former governor’s eldest son, was quick to share his father’s nickname on a local softball team.

“Sewer Pipe, Sewer Pipe Sununu.”

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