Chris Sununu

Jason Moon for NHPR

As the race to become New Hampshire’s next governor enters the home stretch, the rhetoric from both campaigns is growing more contentious.

At a forum hosted by the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning, Democrat Colin Van Ostern and Republican Chris Sununu stepped up their attacks on each other’s backgrounds.

Friends of Chris Sununu

If you’ve tuned into local news stations lately, you might’ve spotted Chris Sununu’s first TV ad of the general election.

A few seconds in, Sununu, the Republican nominee for governor, talks up his business experience at the helm of Waterville Valley Ski Resort, where he’s served as CEO since his family bought the resort in 2010.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

When it comes to fighting the drug crisis, Chris Sununu has said, broadly, that he wants to promote “aggressive” drug prevention education programs and to expand treatment availability for people struggling with addiction.

But this week Sununu called for more aggressive penalties and enforcement when it comes to drug trafficking.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Hours after a 2005 recording of Donald Trump was made public last week, in which the Republican presidential nominee boasted in explicit terms about groping women, Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu issued a one-sentence statement:  “Mr. Trump’s comments are repugnant, unacceptable and offensive.”

But when it comes to supporting Trump as president, Sununu’s campaign says nothing has changed. He still plans to back Trump as the Republican party’s nominee.

Both Chris Sununu and Colin Van Ostern say their business experience makes them qualified to lead New Hampshire. But it was clear from the start of last night's NECN/Concord Monitor debate at New England College, that neither is much impressed by the other’s resume. 


New Hampshire's candidates for governor are facing each other for their first televised debate.

Republican Chris Sununu and Democrat Colin Van Ostern will participate in a debate Wednesday night at New England College in Henniker. The event is being broadcast by New England Cable News.

Both candidates currently serve on the Executive Council. They are vying to replace Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is running for U.S. Senate.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Just how bad, in Chris Sununu’s view, is the red tape facing New Hampshire businesses these days?

“We’ve become more like a regulatory police state, in many aspects,” Sununu said on a visit to Maverick Integration, an automation technology company in Nashua.

Allegra Boverman, Jason Moon for NHPR

Battles over funding for Planned Parenthood have become a familiar political drama over the past several years.

In this year’s gubernatorial election, Democrat Colin Van Ostern is hoping to use his opponent Republican Chris Sununu’s history on the issue against him. But the history can get complicated.

For the last four years, Chris Sununu and Colin Van Ostern have sat – literally – across the table from one another at executive council meetings.

So they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other’s political style, personal habits and voting record. And now that they’re both vying for the same position as New Hampshire’s next governor, Van Ostern, in particular, seems more than ready to use his opponent’s voting record as a line of attack.

The candidates for New Hampshire governor faced questions around economic issues, addressed issues including energy prices, health care costs, and the Granite State tax structure.  

Jason Moon for NHPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern held a campaign stop at a solar farm in Lee today to emphasize his support for renewable energy.

Van Ostern spoke at the Oyster River Forest Solar Array in Lee, which was completed just a few months ago and is the state’s second largest assembly of solar panels.

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

Michael Brindley

Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Sununu was among the high-profile Republicans who called on 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta to step down last year in the wake of a $355,000 campaign finance violation. 

Now, Sununu says he no longer holds that position, even though the facts of the case remain the same.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Not since his father, former Gov. John H. Sununu, eked out his own closely fought race in 1982 has New Hampshire seen a Republican gubernatorial primary as tight as the one Chris Sununu won this week.

But in the end, there didn’t appear to be any hard feelings between Chris Sununu and opponent Frank Edelblut, who came in second place by less than one percent.

josh rogers/nhpr

Congressman Frank Guinta looked relieved when Republicans gathered at the Bedford Village Inn for their post-primary unity breakfast Wednesday.

And for good reason. 

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu and State Representative Frank Edelblut headed home last night before their tight race for the Republican nomination for governor could be called.


With 280 of 300 precincts reporting, Sununu led Edelblut by a 1 percentage point -- about a thousand votes.   

By the time Sununu addressed supporters last night at the Portsmouth Country Club, it was heading towards 11:30,  and the race wasn’t officially over.  But with 90 percent of the vote in and Sununu in the lead, it felt -- and sounded -- like it was heading in that direction.

Michael Brindley

All this week on Morning Edition, we've been talking with the Republican candidates for governor.

Chris Sununu of Newfields has been a member of the state's Executive Council since 2011. 

He's also CEO of Waterville Valley Ski Resort.

The major candidates for governor met in a debate Tuesday night on WMUR, giving the hopefuls the chance to press their cases to a statewide TV audience.

The Republicans sought traction on issues of core importance to GOP voters.

Republican Chris Sununu has made his experience as head of the Waterville Valley ski resort a big part of his campaign for governor. What does his time there tell us about his readiness to take the corner office in the State House?

As New Hampshire students head back to school this week, education is on many parents’ minds. And with the gubernatorial primary less than two weeks away, candidates’ positions on these issues could play a major role on voters’ decisions. 

In this year’s governor’s race, the candidates’ views fall largely along party lines, with differences over how much and where to spend money.

At a debate hosted by NH1 News Wednesday night, a candidate’s comment from earlier this summer regarding how communities have handled the state’s drug crisis sparked some heated back and forth.

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Sununu says it's wrong to ask questions about a major investor in the Waterville Valley Ski resort that was once investigated for terror ties.

josh rogers/nhpr

Ohio Governor John Kasich has endorsed Chris Sununu's in the race for New Hampshire Governor.

In a state house news conference Kasich called Sununu  "a pragmatic conservative."

"He's solid, he's calm, he's in the best tradition of public service, which the Sununus' have always represented. And I'm going to be able to call him governor -- Chris Sununu -- soon, and I will hopefully have a little ante-office next time I'm back that he will reserve for me whether I'm in or out."     

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


Ohio Gov. John Kasich is returning to New Hampshire this month to campaign for fellow Republican Chris Sununu for the GOP gubernatorial nominee.

Kasich, who came in second place in New Hampshire's presidential primary, is back in the state Aug. 28-29.

A Kasich spokesman said Tuesday Sununu, a business leader, understands how to grow New Hampshire's economy and keep taxes low to grow new jobs and businesses.

The state primaries are Sept. 13. Candidates are competing to replace Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is running for U.S. Senate.

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.

A member of New Hampshire's Executive Council who's running for governor says he'll recuse himself from an upcoming vote on a plan to expand skiing on Mount Sunapee, because he's the CEO of another ski resort.

Chris Sununu, a Republican, said Tuesday elected officials must be transparent and impartial in their deliberations on public projects. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

N.H.’s Executive Council took its show on the road Wednesday to the town of Mason. There was no high-profile item before the council, but regardless of the agenda, expect the council to be front and center politically through next November.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester says she is considering a run for governor.

Forrester, a Republican from Meredith, says she was approached by the Republican Governors Association in Washington D.C. months ago but says her attention is on the state budget, which has been in limbo since Gov. Maggie Hassan's veto in June.

“I was flattered; it’s not the priority for me now," Forrester said. "I certainly don’t want to be having the discussion about it; we should be focusing on the budget.”

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu says he’s running for governor in 2016.

The Republican announced his candidacy Monday, taking aim at Gov. Maggie Hassan, calling her "government-first solutions" wrong for the state.

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu says he’s still hoping to find alternative organizations that can provide women’s health care, after he voted to reject a contract with Planned Parenthood.

Sununu was among the three Republican councilors to vote against the $640,000 contract with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.