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Race for the 1st: A Conversation with Chris Pappas (D)

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, Laura talks with Chris Pappas, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

Pappas is the owner of the Puritan Backroom Restaurant, a restaurant in Manchester, and is a member of the N.H. Executive Council. He was formerly a state representative, and Treasurer of Hillsborough County. 

Our Race for the First conversations will focus on the issues at the forefront in the CD1 race, including opioids, guns, veterans, and how each candidate plans to stand out in a crowded race. 


Listen to the conversation.

Watch the conversation:


On Guns:

Pappas supports a federal red flag law to take guns away from people considered dangerous. He says passing that kind of law at the federal level could help save lives.

“There is an opportunity for families and the judicial system to intervene at a point where it’s very clear that someone is going to do harm to themselves or to those around them and this could provide, potentially, a way to prevent a mass shooting from happening.”

He calls for stricter background checks for gun purchases and reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.


Pappas says he supports an increase in the federal minimum hourly wage to $12. He’s OK with $15 an hour, and supports tying it to the inflation index. At his family’s restaurant, he says kitchen staff make on average more than $15 an hour, while wait staff generally earn between $25 and $35 an hour, based on tips.


Pappas says New Hampshire has a long history of welcoming immigrants. Comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for those in the country illegally, will strengthen the U.S. economy, he says.


“We shouldn’t be using immigrants, we shouldn’t be using DREAMers, as political pawns, which is what we’ve seen in Washington in the past several years where they get tied up into the budget debate and we don’t respect the diginity of the individauls that are here in this country, that are contributing, that are our friends, and neighbors, and classmates and co-wrokers.”

On opioid crisis:

Pappas says treatment and recovery efforts are struggling because of a lack of stable funding from the federal government.

“It is impacting just about every family that I talk to, including my own, and so I think we need to understand that there’s a huge human toll to this. It intersects with our economy, with workforce issues and with our way of life here in New Hampshire. And we can’t accept the status quo on this, we’ve got to continue to improve outcomes.”



 "Chris Pappas endorsed by Giffords gun control, gun safety PAC in 1st District Race," from WMUR. 

"NH Primary Source: Mayors Hilliard, McCarley endorse Pappas for U.S. House," from WMUR. 

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