Senate President Peter Bragdon is stepping down from his post, saying it’s the right thing to do after taking a position as executive director of the Local Government Center.
The Milford Republican will remain on as a senator, and says he is calling a special session for the Senate to elect a new leader.
Prominent democrats and political veterans from both parties said this week it would be impossible for Bragdon to serve both roles without there being a conflict of interest.
Bragdon now says there is merit to those arguments.
“So I think it could certainly all be done administratively on the issues that come up, but again, the perception would be there that there was something fishy going on.”
Bragdon, who started his new job Wednesday, said earlier this week he’d be able to do both jobs, recusing himself from bills that would present a conflict.
He says he still thinks he can be an effective senator, despite his overseeing the LGC.
In a statement, Governor Maggie Hassan says Bragdon is taking the appropriate step.
And Senate Minority Leader Sylvia Larsen calls Peter Bragdon’s decision to step down a wise move, but says it doesn’t go far enough. The Democratic senator says Bragdon should consider resigning from the Senate all together because his roles of senator and executive director of the LGC still present a potential conflict of interest.
“He will be sitting in the majority caucus as they discuss bills. He will know the outcome of bills before others in the public. So I think there’s still some grave concerns about conflict of interest.”
Larsen says Bragdon’s experience as senate president also means other senators will still look to Bragdon for leadership.
The Senate is expected to call a special session shortly after Labor Day to elect a new president.
Bragdon says he does not have a particular senator in mind to take over his role.