Josh Rogers

Senior Political Reporter and Editor

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPR’s State House reporter. Before joining the staff, he lived in New York, where he worked for a number of different magazines.

Josh’s award winning reporting can be heard locally but also regularly airs on national broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Josh is also a frequent analyst on political talk shows in the state. He grew up in Concord, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Reed College.


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"On the Political Front" is our occasional check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

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New Hampshire's Executive Council has approved state funding for Planned Parenthood.

The 3-2 vote on a family planning contract comes ten months after the council rejected an almost identical contract by the same margin.

Chris Sununu has voted for state contracts with Planned Parenthood , and he's voted against them.

This one, which would send $638,000 to seven clinics, five run by Planned Parenthood. It would subsidize low cost birth control, STD testing, and cancer screenings. 

The fight over the contract could prove a big moment in the race for governor. Democrats, including fellow councilor and gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern are pushing Sununu, who identifies as pro-choice, to support the contract. 

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The state reps gathered in the house well. They mostly talked about how the nation needs to break the gridlock on the gun debate. Jackie Cilley represents Barrington.

"It is a war zone, and there are practical, sensible solutions that we can promulgate and legislators, nationally and in this state that will make it a little less so."

When Governor Hassan joined the sit in, she spoke briefly, but pointedly on guns.

"It is absolutely essential that we expand background checks, so that known and suspected terrorist can't buy guns at gun shows or online."

In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the debate over guns and how to keep them away from potential terrorists has been center stage in the U.S. Senate.  And so has New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte.

A bill she helped draft Monday aims to bar suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the issue of gun control is looking to be key to her re-election effort this year. But Ayotte’s involvement with gun policy and politics extends farther back that her six years in the U.S Senate.

As the U.S. Senate debates measures to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, New Hampshire's Senator Kelly Ayotte is throwing her support to a proposal drafted by Maine Senator Susan Collins.

The plan would bar people on the TSA's no-fly and selected lists from buying guns. It also creates an appeals process where people wrongly blocked from buying gun could recover legal fees from the federal government.

If one needed proof the opioid crisis is seen as a powerful election issue, confirmation came last week, in the form a $4.6 million dollar ad buy from the GOP group, One Nation.

The family of Lizzi Marriott, the UNH student raped and murdered in 2012 want the New Hampshire Supreme Court to reconsider a ruling that could make public previously private information about her sexual history.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

According to Donald Trump's state campaign co-chairman, Steve Stepanek,  Trump's speech at St. Anselm college --  which featured a broadened call for tighter borders, and a post-Orlando pledge of fealty to the nation's LGBT community  --  was a sign that Republicans are uniting.   

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Republican Ted Gatsas, Manchester mayor and a former state senate president, arrived at the statehouse completed paperwork to run for governor in hand.

"Don't worry, we come prepared. I know what it is up here. I've done it a few times."

The same goes for former Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter. The Rochester democrat formalized her sixth campaign to represent the first district. Much, she says, remains the same.

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate

After filing to run for Governor, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu told reporters it would be "crazy" to think the state can solve the opioid crisis without spending more money to boost treatment options and increase anti-drug education in schools.

But more than money, Sununu said, New Hampshire needs leadership.

Maggie Hassan's pitch as she officially joined the race she's now been running for months was practiced -- and pointed. 

"I've been working for the people of New Hampshire and Kelly Ayotte has been standing with special interests time and time again, whether it's with the Supreme Court or now with Donald Trump, and his special interest backers."

Hassan cited her efforts to control the cost of higher education and defend abortion rights with votes Ayotte has taken to cut Pell grants and defund Planned Parenthood. 

Spend any time around Sen. Kelly Ayotte or Gov. Maggie Hassan nowadays, and you'll hear repeated assurances that while it may be election season, they remain wholly dedicated to serving New Hampshire.

But take a look at either’s fundraising books in their race for the U.S. Senate, and you'll find plenty of proof that both are also focusing further afield.

"On the Political Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire will spend $100,000 to hire a law firm to investigate whether drug makers have marketed opioids in a deceptive fashion. New Hampshire's Executive Council voted unanimously to allow the Attorney General's office to hire the Washington law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll.

NHPR Staff

Governor Maggie Hassan says last week's shooting of two Manchester police officers by a suspect who with mental health problems illustrates the need for New Hampshire to do a better job of keeping guns away from people who shouldn't have them.

"I think this issue needs to be looked at by a broad coalition of stakeholders and that is certainly one of the questions that they should address. I think we should work together to take steps forward to improve public safety and public heath of New Hampshire," Hassan said.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Jeanie Forrester wants New Hampshire to step up efforts to recruit businesses to move here, and she wants to reward businesses that expand with tax relief.

As Forrester sees it, New Hampshire has been held back for years because Concord, under a string of Democratic governors, has become set in its ways.



NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Editing on Mondays to discuss the latest in New Hampshire politics and the news that's likely to shape the conversation among the state's lawmakers. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race is, and is likely to remain, the state political race that gets the most attention. But the race for governor, which features crowded primaries among Republicans and Democrats and no big favorite, is also starting to crank up. Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition's Rick Ganley to talk about it.


New Hampshire's highest court has asked a lower court to consider reinstating bail for Owen Labrie, the former St. Paul's school student convicted of having sex with an underage classmate.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says trial Judge Larry Smukler acted within his discretion when he revoked Owen Labrie's bail after Labrie serially violated a curfew. But the court says that Labrie's bail violations don't indicate "an inclination towards further criminal conduct."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan used a speech at an event at St. Anselm College to promote what she says is her record of working across the aisle. Hassan told the crowd of business people at politics and eggs that Republicans and Democrats in Concord may argue, but they also compromise in the interest of their constituents.

"Time and again in New Hampshire we have shown that we can put out differences aside and get results for out people and our businesses and it is long past time for Washington to take the same approach."


House lawmakers have voted 217-132 to require local officials to issue conceal weapons permits to person not barred from owning a gun.

The mostly party line vote came after the GOP-controlled house overturned a committee recommendation to kill the bill.

Seabrook Republican Max Abramson told colleagues this bill was about making sure a constitutional right is unabridged.

"Senate bill 336 would simply restore the right of law abiding gun owners, who have the lawful right to open carry, to simply put on their jacket."

PROBartolomej Jahoda via Flickr CC /

 The New Hampshire House has again voted decriminalize marijuana. This proposal would make first offense possession of a 1/4 ounce or less a violation.

The 289-58 vote marked the seventh time house lawmakers have tried to make marijuana possession a violation.

Backers of this proposal, like Hampton Democrat Renny Cushing pitched it as a middle ground.

"This is a compromise that will allow us to have first time offenders who have a small amount of marijuana escape a lifetime of draconian punishment for that and have a second chance."

Chris Jensen for NHPR

On the Political Front is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 


Citing public safety concerns, Governor Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that aimed to limit the power of local building inspectors. This is Hassan's first veto of the year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Republican party has called off an email vote on delegate assignments for the Republican National Convention. The postponement came after complaints by the Donald Trump's campaign.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

"On the Political Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

2016 is a big year politically for New Hampshire, and excepting the Presidential contest, no election will get as much scrutiny as the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte and Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Citing strong state revenue numbers, Governor Maggie Hassan is calling on Republican leaders to act on a number of spending priorities. But top Republicans say much of what the governor seeks is already in the works.

The strange and bitter Democratic primary in the first congressional district got even stranger and more bitter today.