One N.H. Legislator's Pitch to Bring Civility to Concord? A Bipartisan Softball Game

Jul 3, 2017

You don’t have to look far for examples of deteriorating civility between opposing sides of the political aisle, in New Hampshire and nationally. But one local lawmaker is pitching a new tradition meant to bring Republicans and Democrats together — by pitting them against each other on the softball field.

A first-term representative and self-described “sports guy,” Loudon Rep. Mike Moffett says he’d been thinking for some time about organizing a local version of the Congressional baseball game that takes place between lawmakers each year in D.C.

But after last month’s shooting on a suburban Virginia softball field where Republican lawmakers were practicing for that same annual game, Moffett figured there was no time like the present.

“It just occurred to me that a sports event bringing the two parties together on the softball field to raise some money for a good cause would be good for bipartisanship and charity,” Moffett said, “and it would also be fun.”

The game’s still a few months away, set for October 14th at Memorial Field in Concord. But Moffett says there’s already been plenty of enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle — and even some interest from one larger corporate sponsor involved in the Congressional game, Anheuser Busch.

Moffett, a Republican, is teaming up with fellow Rep. Jess Edwards organizing his party’s team. Amherst Rep. Shannon Chandley is taking the lead on the Democratic side.

At the suggestion of House Democratic Leader Steven Shurtleff, proceeds from the event will be donated to Liberty House, a shelter for homeless veterans in Manchester.

While both teams are still assembling their respective lineups, Moffett says he’s also still ironing out who will play the role of umpire. One idea: Asking state Supreme Court justices to step up to the plate.

“Presumably,” Moffett said, “they would be impartial arbiters, so to speak.”