Democracy for America, one of the nation’s largest grassroots progressive organizations, is backing Democrat Colin Van Ostern in the race for governor — the group’s first gubernatorial endorsement of the 2016 election cycle.
“We’re making Colin DFA’s first gubernatorial endorsement of the 2016 cycle because really, he’s proof positive that when you run with courage and conviction on progressive values – whether it’s a red state, a blue state or a purple state – that you can win and deliver important progressive results,” DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said Thursday.
Van Ostern has served on the state's Executive Council since 2013, representing a district that includes Keene, Concord and Dover.
Other candidates competing in New Hampshire’s Democratic gubernatorial primary include Mark Connolly, who pursued high-level financial fraud cases as the head of the state’s securities bureau, and Steve Marchand, who previously served as mayor of Portsmouth.
Specifically, Chamberlain cited Van Ostern’s support for Medicaid expansion and his work to fight against efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood as deciding factors driving DFA's endorsement. Chamberlain also pointed to Van Ostern's efforts to advocate for Fairpoint workers who went on strike during a months-long labor dispute last year.
On a practical level, Chamberlain said DFA’s endorsement means the group will marshal its volunteers to help with phone-banking, door-knocking and fundraising for Van Ostern’s campaign. DFA says it has more than 70,000 members in New Hampshire alone.