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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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.”

State Sen. Andy Sanborn's behavior at the State House has been an issue in his run for Congress this year.

Newly released documents show a former top state senator and fellow Republican who now works as a lobbyist wanted Sanborn out of office because he's a "black eye" on the institution.

A new poll from UNH finds voters are already very interested in the 2020 presidential race.

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren are the candidates New Hampshire Democrats are most interested in right now, according to the Granite State Poll.

Among Republicans, 80 percent say they approve of President Trump's performance, but only 56 percent of likely GOP primary voters say they plan to vote for him.

josh rogers / nhpr

 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly says a federal report that found the Division of Children, Youth and Families failing to meet basic standards is fresh proof the state isn't protecting the vulnerable.

Kelly says the state should hire enough staff to limit caseloads at 12 per worker.

"Failing to act represents a moral failure of state government. We cannot continue to allow this to happen. If we can fund tax breaks for wealthy corporations we can fund the agency the protects the most vulnerable children."

Josh Rogers / NHPR

 

 

This was Michael Avenatti first visit to New Hampshire as a could-be presidential candidate. But when he showed up in rural Greenfield, in full L.A. trial lawyer at rest regalia - wearing Prada jeans, Louis Vuitton belt, form-fitting french blue shirt - it was clear his cable news ubiquity had paid off. 

NH DOJ

  

A former state Senate staffer told investigators that sexual comments “just roll off the tip of [the] tongue" of Republican State Senator and congressional candidate Andy Sanborn.

That’s according to transcripts released by the Attorney General’s office late Friday.  

The federal government says its review of 65 cases pulled in April, found the Division of Children, Youth and Families -- or DCYF -- falls short in such key areas as protecting children from abuse and neglect, and ensuring they receive services to meet their educational, physical and mental health needs. 

The report says high caseload volumes remain a big problem. Joe Ribsam directs DCFY.   

A North Country Democrat is mounting a write-in campaign to challenge State Senator Jeff Woodburn, who is seeking reelection as he faces multiple misdemeanor domestic violence and assault changes. 

Kathleen Kelley says her positions on issues don't differ much from Woodburn, and that if elected she'd fight for more resources for the North Country -- for schools, for health care and to improve economic opportunity. Kelley says Senate District 1 needs representation that is beyond reproach.

A new report from the New Hampshire Women's Foundation finds slightly more women are seeking office in the state compared to two years ago. But there are significant differences in the number of women running based on political party and region.

AP

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for "Stormy Daniels," will appear at a Democratic Party picnic this weekend in New Hampshire.

Michael Avenatti says he's considering a 2020 presidential run. He already visited Iowa and on Sunday he'll speak at the Hillsborough County Democrats Summer Picnic in Greenfield.

Roger Lessard leads the local Democratic committee there.  He says the Avenatti visit came together quickly.

"We had not anticipated having anyone of national note appearing at the picnic and this just sort of fell into our lap."

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

As Molly Kelly makes her case to voters that she should be New Hampshire’s next governor, a recurrent argument is that her time in the state Senate proves that she is up to the task of leading New Hampshire.

“As governor, I think it is very important that you have that experience to work with legislators, and that you are ready day one," she recently said on the trail.

josh rogers / nhpr

Company officials were joined at the groundbreaking by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan. Before they all donned hard hats and turned the soil with chromed shovels, Revision CEO Jonathan Blanshay said New Hampshire's workforce, proximity to Boston, and political climate, made it the perfect location for its U.S. Headquarters.

"In just over a year we will have a brand new, state of the art facility. It is going to house the most advanced soldier systems capability in the world, right here in New Hampshire."

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Abortion rights have been a big issue in the Democratic primary for New Hampshire Governor.

Both candidates - former state senator Molly Kelly and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand - have been working to cast themselves as the more stout defender of legal abortion.

Today, the political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England rendered its judgement, endorsing Molly Kelly.

Joining All Things Considered to discuss the endorsement is Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers

Note: Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity

Josh Rogers for NHPR

The political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is endorsing former state senator Molly Kelly in the race for governor. 

File photo

Steve Marchand is running for the Governor as a loud and unapologetic liberal. And whether the topic is guns, abortion, campaign finance or energy, the former Portsmouth mayor’s is working to ensure his stance is the most progressive in the race.

But, to see Steve Marchand as a pure liberal is to look past a long and mixed list of political affiliations.


josh rogers / nhpr

Right now New Hampshire's goal is to have 25 percent of local electricity derived from renewable sources by 2025. Steve Marchand wants renewables to count for 50 percent by 2030.

Marchand says Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine are headed in that direction and New Hampshire would be wise to join them.

"I think this is a reasonable number. There are thousands of jobs in growing parts of the economy that I think are sitting there, if we are willing and able to lead on being more aggressive about increasing the percentage of our mix that comes from renewable resources."

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

By all accounts yesterday was an embarrassing day for political leaders in Concord. The bill they crafted, at Gov. Chris Sununu’s direction, aimed to blunt a U.S. Supreme court ruling that could force local business to collect taxes for other states. It was rejected by the New Hampshire House. NHPR’s Josh Rogers and Peter Biello talked about the political ramifications of the bill's failure, particularly for Sununu.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

It will be bottoms up in Concord on Saturday when a crowd gathers to toast the New Hampshire State House's 200th anniversary.

The "Toast to the Eagle" will feature a recitation of the 13 toasts made on July 18, 1818, the day the carved eagle was set atop the State House dome. The beer will come by Henniker Brewing Company. Its founder, Dave Currier, served in both the New Hampshire House and Senate. 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has signed a bill that eliminates the distinction between "residency" and "domicile" for voting purposes. The move comes a day after the state Supreme Sourt issued a split opinion finding the bill constitutional.

The governor said he sought the court's opinion on the bill to "put the issue to rest once and for all." 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A divided New Hampshire Supreme Court says a bill eliminating the distinction between residency and domicile is constitutional.

The governor sought the court's input on House Bill 1264, which aims to require people who vote here -- like college students -- to abide by other residency requirements, like getting a driver's license or registering their cars.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Newly released documents indicate that New Hampshire state Senate leaders reassigned a staffer under the supervision of Bedford senator and congressional candidate Andy Sanborn in 2014 amid concerns over inappropriate comments. 

The AG last month cleared Sanborn and found no wrongdoing when it investigated the possible bribing of a former Senate intern who had been the target of a suggestive joke.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Abortion rights have become a major issue in New Hampshire's Democratic gubernatorial primary.

“The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, means in almost certain terms the overturning of Roe V. Wade.”

That was Steve Marchand speaking in Portsmouth Tuesday.

As they introduce themselves to voters, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand are both playing up their modest origins.

The particulars - Kelly was a single mom, Marchand is the son of immigrants who never graduated from high school - are a clear contrast to Governor Sununu. But this focus also makes them something rare in recent state politics. 


Governor Chris Sununu has released the findings of his school safety task force, which include 59 recommendations that range from gun laws to school building design. (Scroll down to read the full report.)

The task force was asked to give "practical, actionable recommendations from areas of agreement" among its members. These include urging the legislature to pass a law mandating at least one annual fire drills be used to test emergency response to an armed assailant.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Democrat Molly Kelly says the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy should be a wake up call for Democrats.

Kelly says the threat to abortion rights and gay rights are reasons to back her over Governor Chris Sununu.

Molly Kelly still has a primary to win, but as she campaigned outside the superior court in Manchester, she was using rhetoric usually reserved for a the home stretch of a general election.

Standing before supporters holding signed with slogans like "Trust Women" and "Save Roe," Kelly said she always had, and always would, stand with women.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu will call lawmakers back to Concord to fight any effort by other states to force New Hampshire businesses to collect sales taxes on customers who buy goods across state lines. 

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

New Hampshire’s two Democratic candidates for governor have been hitting the campaign trail hard this summer – but so far, they haven’t had much of an audience.

Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand are struggling to draw attention to their primary race – while focused on targeting incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu.

Jon Greenberg, NHPR

Gym chain Planet Fitness is allowing teenagers from age 15 to 18 to work out for free this summer at all of its New Hampshire gyms.

The goal, says Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau, is to encourage teens to get fit and do so at a time of year when gyms tend to be less crowded.

"The facilities are open, they are open 24 hours a day," he said.

NHPR Staff

A group of seven Republican state representatives is challenging the nonprofit status of the conservative policy group Americans for Prosperity.

AFP announced weeks ago that it would be conducting a campaign to call out lawmakers who voted against right-to-work, one of the group’s policy priorities for years. The state reps challenging AFP's status were all targets of mailers criticizing them for voting against right-to-work legislation.

The state reps say they want to the state to weigh whether AFP should be required to register with the state as a political committee.

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