After fending off multiple attempts by the New Hampshire Democratic Party to keep him off the ballot, Independent Shawn O’Connor will officially be a candidate for the state’s Congressional First District this November.
That’s after the state Ballot Law Commission on Wednesday upheld its earlier decision to keep O’Connor in the race.
Last week the New Hampshire Democratic Party argued unsuccessfully that Shawn O'Connor, a Bedford businessman, failed to collect the 1,500 signatures needed to be on the ballot.
On Wednesday the Party argued O’Connor didn’t use the proper nomination papers as the set he used was missing a page.
Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan told the commission that page is inconsequential and went further to say:
“On its face I think this is a frivolous argument. I think it is unfortunate that they question our ability; to give a correct answer – I know the Democratic Party has a political objective here and that's to have a certain candidate not appear on the ballot.”
Scanlan is referring to a contested race between Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, who is running again against incumbent Frank Guinta, for this same Congressional seat.
But although this has sparked a lengthy feud between O’Connor and the state Democratic Party, a party he was once a member of, O’Connor says right now he’s just focused on the issues.
“My interest is getting my message out to the voters, and that is that you can do better than Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter,” O'Connor told reporters after the commission's decision.
Shea Porter and Guinta are familiar foe. This election is the fourth time the pair have faced off for the 1st Congressional seat. With O'Connor now on the ballot, it all but guarantees a new dynamic in this year's race.