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Allegations Of Inappropriate Comments Follow Sanborn On CD1 Campaign Trail

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

Allegations that New Hampshire Republican state Senator Andy Sanborn made inappropriate comments at the State House are following him on the campaign trail for Congress.

Sanborn is among a handful of Republicans running to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the 1st Congressional District. 

On Wednesday, the three main Republican candidates, Sanborn, Eddie Edwards and Bruce Crochetiere met for their first debate at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

Sanborn nearly made it through the hour-long debate without any mention of allegations that he made inappropriate comments to State House staffers.

But during closing arguments, Edwards used his final 90 seconds on stage to raise the issue - after Sanborn had already given his final remarks. 

"Senator Sanborn has two allegations right now that he needs to answer," Edwards said. "Why? Because we can’t afford to lose this seat. And we can’t afford to put somebody on a stage who cannot stand up and hold our values."

Last month, the New Hampshire Attorney General ended an investigation into the possible bribing of a former Senate intern who had been the target of a suggestive joke from Sanborn. The AG confirmed that Sanborn had used "innapropriate language" but found no wrongdoing. 

Documents released earlier this week indicated that New Hampshire state Senate leaders reassigned a staffer that was under Sanborn's supervision amid concerns over additional inappropriate comments. Neither incident triggered a formal complaint.

After the debate,  Sanborn told reporters the allegations are coming from "the political establishment and my political enemies."

"Look I have never in my life, I have never been inappropriate, said something disrespectful. It’s not who I am as a person," Sanborn said.

This is not likely to be the last time talk of these allegations will surface on the campaign trail. Speaking with a reporter after the debate, Edwards said, "Washington is full of people who lie and misrepresent the facts. And I am not about to allow that to happen again."

The primary will be held September 11th. 

Lauren is a Senior Reporter/Producer for NHPR's narrative news unit, Document.
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