Jim Rubens


Republican incumbent Senator Kelly Ayotte and primary challenger Jim Rubens faced off in a debate on WMUR TV last night.

From the very outset of the debate, a clear dynamic emerged between Ayotte and Rubens.

Jason Moon for NHPR

At their first debate Thursday, incumbent Republican U.S Senator Kelly Ayotte and her challenger, former state Senator Jim Rubens, clashed on the topic of immigration.

Rubens spent much of the debate on NH1 News going after Ayotte’s record on nearly every issue, including her support for the so-called Gang of Eight immigration reform bill in 2013.

The bill included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States. It passed the U.S. Senate, but ultimately failed in the House.

Michael Brindley

Republican Kelly Ayotte is running for re-election, and while most of the headlines are about her race against Gov. Maggie Hassan, Jim Rubens has something to say about that.

The former state Senator is challenging Ayotte’s re-election in next month’s Republican primary, but even his supporters know the odds are against him.

Republicans running for U.S. Senate and New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District took part in a candidate forum in Derry Monday night.

Notably absent, however, was the state’s most prominent Republican – U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, who is up for re-election this fall and is facing a primary challenger.

That meant of the four men taking questions from the audience at the Halligan Tavern in downtown Derry, only three were actually running for office.

Jason Moon for NHPR

When Kelly Ayotte officially registered her candidacy for re-election to the Senate yesterday, many were focused on how a race between her and Gov. Maggie Hassan might play out. But before she can get to that, Ayotte must first contend with a primary challenge from Jim Rubens, a former Republican state senator. He also filed his candidacy yesterday.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire’s drug crisis is a common topic on the campaign trail this year. But U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rubens is touting a slightly different approach.

Rubens advocates for so-called "harm reduction" policies, things like drug assisted treatment, needle exchange programs, and the decriminalization of marijuana.

  Jim Rubens is a former state senator who ran for US Senate in 2014. He’s challenging Kelly Ayotte in this year’s Republican primary. 

NHPR Staff


Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is facing a primary challenge in her re-election bid from Jim Rubens, a former state senator who unsuccessfully ran in the GOP primary against Scott Brown in 2014.

Rubens tells The Associated Press that the Republican base has "divorced" itself from Ayotte and that the GOP will not keep the Senate seat if she is the nominee. Two-term Governor Maggie Hassan is running on the Democratic side.

Rubens says he has never seen such dissatisfaction with the Republican establishment, including Ayotte.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

In the final debate of the Republican primary for US senate, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith had one last chance to put Scott Brown on the ropes. They did their best, but Brown avoided any major missteps.

From the moment he’s come into the race Scott Brown has been seen as front-runner. Now with the primary just days away, Smith and Rubens are still trying to run him down.

When Brown, who has voiced support for an assault weapons ban in the past, evaded a question on gun control his rivals pounced.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Republican US Senate candidates Bob Smith, Jim Rubens, and Scott Brown squared off this morning for a debate broadcast on WGIR. The repeated confrontations during the debate highlighted the growing tension between the trio as September 9th Primary nears.

Former State Senator Jim Rubens for weeks has been demanding Scott Brown lay out what – specifically – he would propose to replace Obamacare. That again was he tactic Rubens used Wednesday morning.

NHPR Staff

We continue our series of conversations with three Republicans seeking their party’s nomination in the U.S. Senate.

Jim Rubens served in the N.H. State Senate from 1994-98 and is former chairman of the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling. 

Scroll down to find the full, unedited audio of our interview with Rubens. Here are excerpts of his responses to some of the issues discussed, with his full answers (and more questions) in the audio.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

In just three weeks, Republicans will choose who will face one of the most successful politicians in recent New Hampshire history: incumbent US Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

This race is one of less than a dozen in the country that could help decide the balance of power in the Senate.

On paper, the three leading candidates have their strengths, but the front-runner remains clear. In the field are two former Senators, and a former state-level politician who the Manchester Union leader declared Citizen of the year in 2013.

But all of them have baggage.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The leading candidates for U.S. Senate met for debates Thursday in North Conway.

The debate, hosted by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council, ranged from Obamacare to medical marijuana, from the Veteran's Affairs to the National Security Agency. And with the increasing instability in the Middle East the candidates spent plenty of time airing their views on the situation in Iraq.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  The Republican Candidates vying for the chance to run against Jeanne Shaheen for Senate in November were stumping in Concord over the weekend. Scott Brown, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith faced questions about agricultural and timber policies at an event hosted by the New Hampshire Farm Bureau and the Timberland Owners Association at Carter Hill Orchard.

Brown used the opportunity to say that he wants to cut the red tape required to get temporary worker visas.

NHPR/Josh Rogers

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown will kick off a series of town hall meetings Tuesday night in Salem.

Brown, a former Massachusetts U.S. Senator, says Tuesday night’s discussion will focus on immigration, with each meeting focusing on a particular topic.

Brown is running against former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith and former state Senator Jim Rubens in the Republican primary on Sept. 9.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The “Thank a Vet” barbeque in Holderness Saturday drew several Republicans vying for their party’s nomination in the upcoming September primary.  

Among them was former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith, who’s running to get his old seat back.

Smith has yet to release fundraising figures, but he says his campaign is doing fine.

“We don’t do fundraisers in Las Vegas and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’re a grassroots organization. I like to say I’m a country music Republican, not a country club Republican and so that’s where we’re raising our money.”

2014 Primaries and Elections: A Look Ahead

Jul 9, 2014
meagan_taylor / Flickr/CC

With summer officially here, it’s not just the weather heating up, but the political season as well. There are polls, ads, debates being scheduled, and big-name politicians coming in to support candidates. There's also already some drama, with one contender dropping out and another’s residency being questioned.  We’re looking at how the U.S. Congress, Senate, and N.H. Governor races are shaping up so far.


Sara Plourde for NHPR

The realscottbrownrecord.com highlights what the NH PAC to Save America calls Brown’s deceptive tactic of criticizing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen for doing what he also did– support policies favored by President Obama.

Brown has made Jeanne Shaheen’s fealty to the president a key part of his campaign, but PAC adviser Mike Dennehy says Brown needs to be held to account for the fact that Congressional Quarterly found he voted with the President 78 percent of the time in 2012.


If you want to catch a glimpse of New Hampshire's U.S. Senate candidates on Independence Day, head to Amherst and Merrimack.

Both parades will feature all four major candidates running this year, including incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

She'll be joined by the three Republican challengers: former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown, former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith, and former state Senator Jim Rubens.

The Amherst parade kicks off at 10 at Wilkins Elementary School.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The Republican front runner in the race for U.S. Senate – former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown – will not take part in a debate in Merrimack tonight with his primary challengers.

Jim Rubens stopped by the secretary of states office Thursday to file his candidacy for US Senate. The Hanover Republican used the opportunity to make the case that he’ll be the number one competitor to former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown in the primary.

Former state senator Jim Rubens is perhaps the most difficult Republican to pin down ideologically in the race for the Senate seat currently held by Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Rubens, has trailed Scott Brown in early polls,

He’s been campaigning furiously on issues related to gun rights and veterans affairs.

To Liberty Caucus Chairman Aaron Day's way of thinking the symbolism of recent endorsements in this race is clear:

The GOP establishment has its candidate in former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and republicans who prize the constitution and tackle problems with ideas have theirs in Jim Rubens.

"He’s thoughtful, intelligent, and open to rational discussion and debate."

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Republican candidates for U.S. Senate Karen Testerman, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith debated in Bedford Tuesday night. The tone was cordial and while some disagreed on points of policy, they were united in their criticism of the absent candidate: Scott Brown.


After months of flirting, former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown plans to announce he’s running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire Thursday in Portsmouth.

afagen / Flickr Creative Commons

In mid-March, with the sap has hardly running, November seems a lifetime away. But in the political world, eight months goes by quickly, especially for those preparing for mid-term elections. Although the filing period isn’t until June, there’s already a solid list of Republicans hoping to face the three Democratic incumbents. In the 1st Congressional District, former Congressman Frank Guinta and former UNH business school Dean Dan Innis look to go against Carol Shea Porter. In Congressional District 2, state Rep.


U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rubens will take part in a town hall meeting tonight at New England College in Henniker.


Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith says he's moving back to New Hampshire in an attempt to win back his old seat.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Former state senator, and Hanover resident Jim Rubens officially announced he will run for the Republican nomination to face Jeanne Shaheen in next year’s U.S. Senate election. He’s the first to enter the race.

Rubens has an eclectic platform that could be hard to sell to some Republican voters. He says he prioritizes reducing the federal deficit and repealing and replacing Obamacare, but is pro-choice and in favor of gay marriage. He also advocates cutting the payroll tax in order to institute a carbon tax.