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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8f680000Coverage of the 2016 races in New Hampshire, from the White House to the State House.

Van Ostern Focuses on Economy on First Day as Democratic Nominee for Governor

Paige Sutherland/NHPR
To kickoff his General Election campaign, Colin Van Ostern met with business and local leaders in Nashua to talk about the economy.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern held his first campaign event as the nominee in Nashua Wednesday. 

On day one of the campaign, Colin Van Ostern made it pretty clear what was top on his agenda.

“Today is the first day of the General Election, and I cannot think of a better thing to do then talk to entrepreneurs, business leaders and local leaders about how to build a strong economy and an economy that works for everyone,” Van Ostern said, just hours after winning the Democratic gubernatorial Primary.

During Wednesday’s roundtable discussion in Nashua, Van Ostern said his vision of a strong economy includes attracting more young people to the state, increasing the minimum wage and most importantly bringing commuter rail to New Hampshire-- but doing so without a sales or income tax.

Gray Chynoweth, COO of the tech company SilverTech in Manchester, was one of the participants. He told the group that commuter rail would be the "single most transformative economic opportunity for the state in a decade."

"It's like we are moving from broadband to dial-up with our access to the Boston market," Chynoweth said.

Plans to build commuter rail in New Hampshire have all been rejected by Republican leadership mainly due to cost. Under Van Ostern's proposal, the money would come from federal grants, the private sector and cities and towns.

Van Ostern will face fellow Executive Councilor Chris Sununu this election. Although Sununu, whose father served as governor and his brother as U.S. senator, is a well-known name throughout the state, Van Ostern says it’s the issues, not the name he’ll be focused on for the next 56 days.

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