Politics

Political news from New Hampshire Public Radio, from the State House to the First in the Nation Primary.

If optics is everything in political campaigns, it was fitting to see Eddie Edwards and Andy Sanborn at far ends of the debate stage.

Gov. Chris Sununu/Twitter

For the Democratic candidates running for New Hampshire governor, it’s crunch time. All week long Steve Marchand and Molly Kelly have worked to get attention from voters and the press. Between now and Tuesday, that hustling will be almost non-stop.

For Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is running for reelection but doesn’t face a primary, the political pace is decidedly less frantic. Incumbency helps, but so does Sununu’s personality. 

 

WMUR

The 11 Democrats running to replace Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the 1st Congressional District tried their best to stand out during a televised debate Wednesday, using their fleeting time on stage to prove to voters that they’re the most progressive candidate and best able to take on President Donald Trump’s agenda.

New Hampshire Public Radio’s newsroom will offer comprehensive coverage of the Sept. 11 state primary elections.

On that Tuesday, voters across the state will cast their ballots for the Democratic gubernatorial candidates as well as their choices for the first congressional district and the second congressional district. Laura Knoy will host the special coverage from the NHPR studios in Concord. NHPR reporters will be in the field or in-studio providing analysis. At the nhpr.org website, a live blog will provide up-to-the minute reporting on the races.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The fight to overturn two energy bill vetoes will come to the State House today with a demonstration.

The timber industry and renewable energy supporters have teamed up to urge legislators to override Gov. Chris Sununu's vetoes. One would subsidize the biomass power industry, while the other would expand net metering in New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Since the 1970s, every candidate running for governor—or any other major office in New Hampshire—has faced the question: will they pledge to oppose a broad-based sales or income tax?

This year, some prominent Democrats say it is long past time to stop taking what is known as The Pledge. But its political pull remains strong.

To understand how the pledge continues to shape—and some might say warp—politics within the New Hampshire Democratic Party, consider this recent exchange between the party’s two gubernatorial candidates at Dartmouth College.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District have less than a week to choose from the pack of candidates running to replace retiring Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.

As with any election, candidates are racing around the state to knock on doors and shake as many hands as possible. But this mad dash to the finish is especially frantic for the 11 Democrats running for the seat, as the sheer number of candidates might cause results to split in interesting ways.

Confirmation hearings are continuing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

After a sometimes raucous day of opening statements on Tuesday, Kavanaugh is facing his first round of questioning from Senators on Wednesday.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee want to know about Kavanaugh's position on a range of issues including abortion, healthcare and presidential power.

The nominee also faces questions about his time working in the Bush administration and his time working under independent counsel Ken Starr.

Watch the hearing live:

NHPR File Photo

Energy has become a focal point in the race to become New Hampshire's next governor.

The region’s high energy rates make it a key economic issue, and climate change make it a crucial environmental one.

Democrats Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand and Republican Governor Chris Sununu are all working to differentiate themselves on those challenges.

Marchand is a self-described energy wonk. He's gone all in on the details of what he calls "generational change."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The days until New Hampshire’s primary election are numbered, and most of the Democratic candidates for the 1st Congressional District are using their remaining public appearances to attack the two assumed front runners.

All eleven candidates met at Manchester Community College Thursday night for their final New Hampshire Democratic party sponsored forum, and it was clear that most of the congressional hopefuls have their sights set on Executive Councilor Chris Pappas and Maura Sullivan.

 

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.”

Casey McDermott, NHPR

State officials are not challenging a federal judge's decision to strike down New Hampshire's "signature mismatch" procedures. Instead, they have instructed pollworkers not to compare a voter's handwriting on their absentee ballot with the handwriting used on their absentee ballot application.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

All this week in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, a judge will hear arguments over whether a controversial voting law known as Senate Bill 3 should be allowed to stay in place for this fall’s elections.

Here’s a refresher on what that law does and why this week’s hearing is important.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Nationally, some Republicans are expressing worry about how the two major news stories this week - a guilty plea from the President's former lawyer and a guilty verdict in a case involving his former campaign manager - could affect the party's chances in the mid-term election.

State Rep. Steve Negron insists he doesn't share that worry.  

The Republican candidate vying for a primary win in New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District race contends the legal troubles surrrounding Trump associates have no effect on his campaign.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will no longer receive medical treatment, his family announced Friday. The 81-year-old senator has been battling brain cancer for more than a year, since announcing last July that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive tumor called a glioblastoma.

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.

Via NPR

Members of New Hampshire's Democratic Congressional delegation say the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller needs to continue without interference following the conviction of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and guilty plea from his former personal lawyer.

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."

Allegra Boverman

With less than a month to go until the state primary election on Sept. 11, voters who register from this point forward have to follow a slightly different process than those who registered earlier in the year.

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.  

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.

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.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

A federal judge has struck down a New hampshire law that allows pollworkers to toss out absentee ballots if they don’t believe the signature adequately matches the one used on other voting paperwork.

Invitation via Josh Zakim's Facebook Page

 It's not out of the ordinary to see a New Hampshire politician skip across the state's southern border to raise money in Boston. What is unusual — really, unheard of until this year — is to see that from someone running for Secretary of State.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand talks about the issues in his campaign, from energy to education, and answers your questions. 

Note: Marchand's primary opponent, former state senator Molly Kelly, declined to appear on today's program.

Later in the hour, NHPR's Josh Rogers updates us on the New Hampshire Governor's race overall. 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

As part of a series of interviews with GOP candidates in the 2nd Congressional District primary, we sit down with Lynne Blankenbeker

Blankenbeker has served in the Middle East for the U.S. Air Force as an officer and trauma flight nurse, and later in the Navy Reserve Nurse Corps. She was a representative in the N.H. legislature, where she worked in veterans and public health issues. She is an attorney and served as a healthcare policy advisor at the Pentagon. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Rep. Dan Eaton of Stoddard, one of the longest-serving Democrats in the New Hampshire Legislature, was reprimanded earlier this year after a State House employee reported that he had engaged in “a long pattern of behavior” that created a “hostile work environment.”

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