NH Politics

When Gov. Maggie Hassan went public this week with her plans to take challenge Republican Kelly Ayotte for her U.S. Senate seat, she didn’t do it in a room full of supporters or while standing behind a bunting-draped podium. She headed straight to the internet with a video announcing her run.

Screenshot via YouTube

NHPR’s Josh Rogers spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss Gov. Maggie Hassan's announcement that she is running for U.S. Senate in 2016.

BIELLO: So, long anticipated, now official. What’s this mean?

Screenshot via YouTube

Gov. Maggie Hassan Monday announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate, setting up a contest against Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte next year in what is expected to be a closely-watched race between two well-known, well-funded opponents.

Political candidates send lots of emails as the end of a fundraising quarter approaches. New Hampshire Congressman Frank Guinta is no exception – though there’s a bit more to his story than what’s in the message.

NHPR Staff

Preliminary numbers show New Hampshire closing the books on the 2015 budget with a $73 million surplus, far greater than what was expected.

During the budget writing phase, Gov. Maggie Hassan's office criticized lawmakers for counting on rolling nearly $50 million in surplus into the next budget.

Hassan's office says the surplus will help strengthen the state's rainy day fund and improve the state's financial outlook. She says the Legislature should consider using some of the money to address public school funding concerns.

Chris Jensen for NHPR


New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is boldly taking on a role most of her fellow Republicans have disdained: public foil to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Readying for what could be a tough re-election bid in an increasingly swing state, Ayotte has challenged the Texas senator as he has pushed for a government shutdown over funds for Planned Parenthood.

Associated Press

For as long as New Hampshire has hosted the nation’s first presidential primary contest, it seems outsiders have been trying to dilute the state’s influence. The latest such attempt comes from the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus.

In an interview with the National Journal, Priebus says he’s been supportive of early nominating states like New Hampshire and Iowa in the past, but “I don’t think anyone should get too comfortable.”

NHPR Staff

With re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank stalled in Congress, several New Hampshire companies say they are feeling the impact.  New Hampshire’s two US Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen as well as 2nd District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster support re-authorization, while 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta has yet to take a position.

Top N.H. Lawmakers Discuss Bipartisan Budget Deal

Sep 17, 2015

After months of stalemate, top lawmakers and the Governor crafted a compromise that splits the difference on the contested issue of business tax cuts.  We’re talking with Statehouse leaders about this hard-won deal, how rank-and-file members reacted, and what might be next.  


NHPR Staff

After nearly three months of budgetary limbo and partisan feuding, New Hampshire officially has a two-year budget in place.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

House and Senate members return to Concord this afternoon to consider 10 pieces of legislation passed earlier this year by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican lawmakers have struck a deal on the state budget after nearly three months of negotiations.The agreement is centered on cuts to the state’s business taxes – the same issue that led the governor to veto the Republican-backed budget in June.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Legislators have reached a deal with Gov. Maggie Hassan on the state budget. 

NHPR Staff


Nearly three months into the state's budget stalemate, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and top Republican lawmakers are trying to forge a compromise as a new deadline approaches.

The Legislature returns to Concord on Wednesday for override votes on 10 bills Hassan vetoed, including two dealing with the budget. Republicans don't have enough votes to override the budget vetoes, forcing both sides to seek a compromise that will put the state on stable financial footing.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

With legislators scheduled to take up Gov. Maggie Hassan’s budget veto in just one week, a bipartisan deal still appears elusive.

On Wednesday morning at a breakfast event at St. Anselm College in Manchester,  two top budget writers – Democratic Sen. Lou D’Allesandro and Senate Finance Chair Republican Jeanie Forrester – said the debate over the state's two-year spending plan remains stuck on whether to include business tax cuts or not.

Every four years, New Hampshire welcomes the national political spotlight in the months leading up to the presidential primary. As the hosts of the first primary in the country, Granite State voters have the opportunity to make their voices heard on the campaign trail, at town hall events, and most importantly, at the ballot box.

But it wasn’t always this way.

8.17.15: The Fight That Changed TV & The Speechwriter

Aug 17, 2015
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures / http://bit.ly/1MtHysd

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago is remembered for protests and violence, but one radical decision that came out of that convention has changed the nature of debate in this country. Today, how the face-offs between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley turned television debates into a blood sport. We’ll also speak with a speechwriter for Mark Sanford, the South Carolina governor who added “hiking the Appalachian trail” to our lexicon. 

Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor

Neighborhood diners have been a staple campaign visit in New Hampshire for decades. They offer easy access to voters, a wide-range of age groups and personable settings. The Corner View Restaurant in Concord is one of the many popular stops candidates make on the campaign diner tour. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

With the state’s budget stalemate now in its second month, the impacts of the current stopgap spending plan are starting to come into view. But because it’s been a dozen years since the state last found itself in this situation, navigating these budgetary waters is proving a challenge -- both for state agencies and for those who rely on their services.

NHPR Staff

The Executive Council voted yesterday against renewing two family planning contracts for Planned Parenthood centers in New Hampshire. Here are two perspectives on that controversial issue.

Immigration and the Campaign Trail

Aug 6, 2015
John McIntosh / Flickr/CC

It’s been a top issue this primary season: how to fix what most everyone agrees is a system in need of reform. The remedies vary, from bolstering the border to establishing a path to citizenship.  In some cases, as with GOP candidate Donald Trump, the rhetoric has been heated. We’ll look at how this issue is playing out among both parties.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is teaming up with Utah Republican Sen. Orin Hatch to introduce legislation that would hold colleges more accountable for "overwhelming" student debt.

If the bipartisan proposal passes, colleges with repayment rates that are more than 10 percent below the national average over a three-year period would lose their eligibility to participate in the federal student loan system.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Sen. Andy Sanborn has called for New Hampshire's so-called "drug czar" to resign, two days before a legislative committee will decide whether to extend the official's contract.


More than anywhere else, New Hampshire political news breaks and is debated swiftly on Twitter. That includes tweets not just from reporters, but from the politicians themselves. Of course, all of this can be followed using the hashtag #nhpolitics.

Here's how news of Gov. Maggie Hassan's budget compromise unfolded on Twitter through the day. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

With state budget negotiations largely stalled, Gov. Maggie Hassan presented what she called a new compromise proposal Thursday. But the plan seems to have done little to persuade Republicans to return to the negotiating table any time soon.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Constituents were banned from asking 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta about his campaign finance issues during a town hall meeting in Plaistow last night.

WMUR reports a woman’s attempt to ask Guinta about the issue was cut off by the post commander at the American Legion hall where the event was being held.

Commander David Meaney told the woman she couldn’t ask any political questions because the American Legion is a non-political organization.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan’s veto of the Republican-backed state budget bill has dominated State House news in recent weeks. But Hassan’s veto pen has seen plenty of non-budget action this session, as well.

Governor Maggie Hassan on the Budget Stalemate

Jul 13, 2015
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

In June, the Governor made good on her promise to veto a Republican-backed plan. Now, with government agencies operating under a temporary resolution, political rancor has worsened. We sit down with Governor Maggie Hassan to get her thoughts on the prospects for compromise.

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at what's going on behind the scenes of New Hampshire's state budget battle.  

It’s now been a couple of weeks since Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed the state budget. Very quiet weeks if the measure is true progress towards a budget deal, but very loud ones in terms of the partisan rhetoric about the budget. 

Top N.H. Lawmakers Discuss State Budget Impasse

Jul 2, 2015
Sean_Marshall / Flickr / Creative Commons

Since Governor Hassan’s budget veto last week, lawmakers have called for compromise, though there’s been little action on that front. Meanwhile, as state government continues to operate under a temporary resolution, agencies are struggling with uncertainty. We sit down with leaders from both parties to discuss the way forward.