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NH Politics

Casey McDermott / NHPR

You might have heard that the New Hampshire primary is coming up on a big 100-year milestone in 2020. The Secretary of State’s office has marked the occasion with a commemorative centennial poster and — just last week — a special ceremony featuring the families of people who’ve shaped the primary’s history.

But if the idea of a 100th anniversary sounds familiar, it’s because you might have heard something similar four years ago.

NHPR Staff

 

A group of lawmakers is asking the New Hampshire Department of Education to respond to its concerns about a $46 million federal grant to expand public charter schools, before deciding whether to accept it.

Where are all of these presidential candidates coming from?

If you've lived through a presidential primary in New Hampshire, you've probably wondered this at one point or another. But we also wondered where all of the candidates for president have come from, literally — in other words, what states are most popular for modern New Hampshire presidential primary candidates?

Casey McDermott / NHPR

It's official: The date of the upcoming New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11, 2020.

That announcement came as no surprise, since the Iowa caucuses have long been scheduled for Feb. 3, 2020, and the New Hampshire primary typically follows one week later. But, by law, the New Hampshire primary date isn't official until Secretary of State Bill Gardner says so. And that didn’t happen until Monday afternoon.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The State House ethics rules could be updated soon with stricter guidance about when lawmakers need to sit out of votes because of outside conflicts of interest.

With the late entrance of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick into the 2020 presidential race, there are now four candidates from neighboring states campaigning in New Hampshire. In addition to Patrick, that list includes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter Josh about the track record of candidates from next door in the New Hampshire primary.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

The implications of New Hampshire’s new residency law for voting and vehicle licensing are still not fully clear, several months after it went into effect and several months before the state’s presidential primary election.

So much about the new residency law remains subject to interpretation, in fact, that a federal judge wants the New Hampshire Supreme Court to certify — or clarify — several questions about how the law works before he tries to assess its constitutionality.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

Students and Democratic lawmakers are urging the Community College System of New Hampshire to reconsider its decision to lay off ten faculty and staff at NHTI, the community college in Concord.

NHTI has seen a decline in enrollment over the last several years, including an eight percent dip this semester. But the overall Community College System (CCSNH) is getting 20 percent more state funds over the next biennium, compared to the last state budget.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A lawsuit over a controversial new residency law is back in court Thursday morning, this time to decide whether the state could be blocked from enforcing any link between voter registration and vehicle licensing through the 2020 presidential primary election.

New Hampshire voters have a lot of options in the 2020 presidential primary — not only because of the large field of candidates on the left, but also because President Trump is facing a rare challenge within his own party.

In New Hampshire, the most popular political party is no party at all: Undeclared or “independent” voters make up the biggest chunk of the electorate. And heading into the 2020 presidential primary, they are the voters with the most choices to make — not just what candidate to support, but what party's primary to vote in. As Primary Day nears, both voters and campaigns are trying to take advantage of this freedom.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

It’s rare these days for a viable presidential campaign to believe that prolonged proximity to reporters is to a candidate’s benefit. But that's the bet the campaign of South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is making. For the past three days, Buttigieg has been traveling New Hampshire by bus – a la John McCain and his fabled Straight Talk Express of 20 years ago – accompanied by reporters invited to ask the candidate whatever they chose.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

A State House ethics panel says a top House Democrat violated ethics guidelines by testifying and voting on several pieces of legislation that directly intersected with his position as the paid president of a statewide teachers union. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Lawmakers are holding up $10 million of a charter school grant from the federal government, citing concerns over how the grant will affect existing public schools and the state budget.

The money is part of $46-million grant made to the New Hampshire Department of Education, with the goal of doubling the number of charter schools in the state over the next five years.

Republican George Hansel narrowly beat out Democrat Mitchell Greenwald for Keene’s open mayoral seat on Tuesday.

Hansel, a 33-year-old businessman, hopes to grow Keene’s economy, establish a comprehensive housing plan, and work to stabilize the city’s tax rate.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

 

Lawmakers from southern New Hampshire want to give the state more control over commercial wells run by water companies. The move comes after the town of Hampstead discovered that a private companies' rate of pumping water was contributing to residential wells running dry.

Sarah Gibson/NHPR

Last Democratic presidential primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire decisively, getting 60 percent of the vote and galvanizing his supporters across the country. But this year, many Sanders supporters say they see another progressive option in Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Recent polls show the two candidates are largely drawing from the same pool of voters for their support.

As Primary Day draws closer, how are those voters navigating that choice?

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig won a second term from Queen City voters Tuesday, beating challenger Victoria Sullivan, 57 percent to 43 percent.

The race between Craig, a Democrat, and Sullivan, a former Republican legislator, turned largely on questions of public safety and quality of life. 

Casey McDermott / NHPR

 

A group of lawmakers tasked with studying violence in schools says the state needs to give districts better standards for reporting violent incidents and staff need better training to handle student behavior.

 

The Committee to Study Violence in New Hampshire Schools looked at the increase in reports from teachers who say they were injured by students. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: November 1, 2019

Nov 1, 2019

The 100th anniversary of New Hampshire as the first in the nation primary officially begins as the candidate filing period kicks off this week. Elizabeth Warren's campaign joins the suit calling for a pause in the residency law, HB 1264, currently being challenged in court.  And wet weather delays Halloween for some towns.

House.gov

New Hampshire's two members of the U.S. House, Rep. Annie Kuster and Rep. Chris Pappas, voted with nearly all House Democrats to authorize impeachment hearings against President Trump.

The vote for the public hearings, which every Republican opposed, marks the first time the full House voted on the impeachment inquiry.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Presidential candidates of all stripes have begun filing to get on the New Hampshire primary ballot. The 2020 filing period, a defining ritual of the presidential politics, opened Wednesday in the State House and will stretch for more than two weeks.

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

Lawyers for the ACLU of New Hampshire and the state’s Department of Justice met Wednesday for the latest hearing in a federal court case over a Republican-backed law that alters the definition of who qualifies as a state resident. 

Dan Tuohy | NHPR

Our New Hampshire Primary 2020 Candidate Forum series continues with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, before a live audience. Listen or watch the interview below to get her views on the economy, taxes, foreign policy, climate change, and more. 

Dan Tuohy | NHPR

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and her Republican challenger, Victoria Sullivan, face off in a debate moderated by NHPR's Peter Biello and Paul Feely, city hall reporter at the Union Leader.

The debate was broadcast live on NHPR on October 28th, 2019.

Election Day in Manchester is November 5th.

Listen to the debate:

(Scroll down for a transcript of the debate)

Watch the debate:

Photos via the candidates' campaign websites

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is running for re-election next month. Her challenger, former Republican state representative Victoria Sullivan, says Mayor Craig has failed to tackle concerns about homelessness, crime and quality of life. While the two candidates disagree over the nature of the challenges facing the city, public safety is on the minds of many voters this campaign season.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 25, 2019

Oct 24, 2019

The next legislative session doesn't begin until January, but intriguing legislation is being shaped now in committee meetings at the statehouse, including banning assault weapons and importing low-cost drugs.  Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky officially enters the race for governor.  Municipal aid payments, part of the budget compromise, begin reaching cities and towns. And vaping devices are included in some N.H. city's drug take-back day. 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Two very different groups took to the State House on Wednesday. The first called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, while the second was decked out in ‘Make America Great Again’ T-shirts. 

Neither side, however, appeared to be drawing many people to their cause. 

Josh Rogers | NHPR

On a recent Friday morning, an audience of businesspeople lined up for photos with Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Bullock, who's running for the Democratic presidential nomination, appeared at ease when it came time to grip-and-grin. He offered lots of eye contact, a firm handshake, the occasional clap on the back.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky has joined Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes in the Democratic primary for New Hampshire governor.

Both men are Concord lawyers: Volinsky is best known as the lead attorney in the Claremont education funding lawsuits; Feltes spent years as a legal aid lawyer before running for office.

Both men see themselves are leaders on progressive issues.

And both men, in their respective roles at the State House, have the ability to stymie Gov. Chris Sununu’s agenda in the coming year, even before Election Day rolls around in 2020.

Legislative Ethics Committee website

New Hampshire lags behind many other states when it comes to making information about lawmakers' financial interests accessible to the public. But its disclosure system is slated to soon move into the digital era — perhaps in time for lawmakers to file electronically for the 2020 legislative session.

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