NH Politics

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.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

After fending off multiple attempts by the New Hampshire Democratic Party to keep him off the ballot, Independent Shawn O’Connor will officially be a candidate for the state’s Congressional First District this November.

That’s after the state Ballot Law Commission on Wednesday upheld its earlier decision to keep O’Connor in the race.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper is hoping to hold onto his leadership role for a second term.

But the Republican is already facing opposition from within his own party.

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

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and her challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan, will be discussing how to strengthen and preserve Social Security at a forum in Manchester.

Ayotte, a Republican, and Hassan, a Democrat, are attending a forum organized by AARP on Monday.

The event is being held at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

After Tuesday’s primary election, both parties’ tickets for November are now officially in place. On Wednesday, the state’s GOP leaders gathered for a “unity breakfast” and got one major call to action: stand with the man who will be at the top of their lineup: Donald Trump. Their first chance was last night, at a rally Trump held in Laconia.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup - September 16, 2016

Sep 15, 2016

We discuss Tuesday's state primary and look ahead to November.  Donald Trump and Tim Kaine pay local voters another visit.  And Dartmouth-Hitchcock says the layoff of nearly 500 employees won't affect staffing at the New Hampshire Hospital.  

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Today, the Union Leader did something unusual: It endorsed a candidate for president who was not the Republican nominee. The paper bypassed Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to endorse Gary Johnson and his vice presidential running mate, Bill Weld.

Two days after the state primary, with an eye toward the general election, State Sen. Jeff Woodburn had one message for the crowd of Democrats who packed into the Puritan Backroom for the party’s unity breakfast on Thursday morning.

"We’re not running against the Republicans," Woodburn told his fellow Democrats. "We’re running against complacency."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern won his party's nomination for governor Tuesday. He'll face fellow councilor and Republican Chris Sununu in the general election.

Van Ostern spoke with NHPR's Morning Edition the day after the primary.


Donald Trump is back in New Hampshire Thursday.

The Republican presidential nominee is set to hold a campaign rally at Laconia Middle School at 7:30 p.m.

This comes as a report by Politico this week finds that Trump’s former campaign manager – New Hampshire resident Corey Lewandowski – has become increasingly more involved with the campaign behind the scenes.

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.

Special interest groups spent nearly half a million dollars on the primary races for governor and state Legislature that ended Tuesday, led by a nonprofit social-welfare organization with ties to a prominent Concord lobbying firm.

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. 

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Republican Rich Ashooh has conceded to incumbent Frank Guinta in their primary in the state's 1st Congressional District.

With 96 percent reporting, Guinta leads Ashooh by 661 votes, or about 1 percent of the vote. 

Wednesday morning, Ashooh issued a statement, saying that despite the close margin, "I am conceding this race to my opponent so that the Republican ticket may immediately position itself for victory in November." 

Jim Cole/AP

New Hampshire voters had the biggest field of candidates for governor to consider  that they've had in twenty years--seven people wanted the job. But how much can a New Hampshire governor actually do, anyway? 

Marc Nozell via Flickr CC

Control of the New Hampshire Senate in January is up for grabs after primary voters cast ballots for their party’s nominees yesterday. The results provided some clarity to general election races that will define many of the state's political and policy debates over the next two years.  

Sheryl Rich-Kern

The second time was the charm for former state representative Jim Lawrence of Hudson, who defeated six other opponents in the race for Republican nomination in the state's 2nd congressional district.

New Hampshire voters will narrow down many of this year's political races today, with primaries in campaigns for U.S. Senate, Congress and governor -- all the way down to individual seats for the Legislature.

Click here to see a slideshow of photos taken by NHPR reporters around New Hampshire on Primary Day.

Donald Trump and Tim Kaine are both headed back to New Hampshire on the same day, a sign of the increasing importance of this battleground state in the presidential election.

The Republican presidential nominee and the Democratic vice presidential candidate will both be in New Hampshire Thursday, but in different parts of the state.

Trump is set to hold a campaign rally at Laconia Middle School, according to his campaign schedule.

The rally kicks off at 7:30 p.m. 

Primary Night Results: Special Live Edition

Sep 13, 2016
bjmccray / flickr/cc

Join us as the results roll in from primary night across New Hampshire.  Voters will winnow the fields in several competitive primary elections, including a crowded gubernatorial field and a contentious congressional race.  We check in with NHPR reporters who will be with at campaign headquarters in key races around the state.  Our political analysts give insight into the campaigns and offer a glimpse of what lies ahead for those who emerge victorious.


Josh Rogers, NHPR

Politicians have ways of gauging where they stand. Some count yard signs, some dwell on polls or voting data. Manchester mayor Ted Gatsas, who’s never lost an election, has another touchstone.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Two Republican candidates for governor are calling on the state to tear up a recently-approved, $36.5 million contract with Dartmouth Hitchcock, following the hospital's announcement it will lay off hundreds of workers.

Natasha Haverty

July 20, 3:36 pm. Republican State Senator Nancy Stiles sits in her favorite Portsmouth coffee shop, wearing a summer dress and a necklace of big yellow beads. After serving three terms in Concord representing District 24, she’s decided to step down: time to give someone else a turn. Within weeks of Stiles’ retirement, a quartet of eager Republicans stepped in the race to replace her.

Stiles looks up over a half-eaten piece of cake and makes a wish. “I’m hoping the campaign doesn’t get overly nasty,” she sighs.

Allegra Boverman

Congressman Frank Guinta is running for re-election to New Hampshire’s first district, but he faces a tough primary fight with defense industry executive Republican Rich Ashooh.  Guinta spoke with NHPR’s All Things Considered host Peter Biello about his policy ideas. 

Let’s start with the state’s opioid crisis. More than four hundred overdose deaths in New Hampshire last year. That number may exceed 500 this year. What would you do to reverse this trend?


Two Republican candidates for the state's 2nd Congressional District went head to head for an hour Thursday night during a debate hosted by WMUR and the Union Leader. Jack Flanagan and Jim Lawrence are vying to go up against incumbent Democrat Annie Kuster.

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.

New Hampshire’s gubernatorial primary is just a few days away, and the top issue for many voters is how to solve the state’s ongoing opioid crisis.


The New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation is not your typical layover on the road to the Democratic nomination for governor. But if anyone can make the case for a former financial watchdog in the corner office, it might be Mark Connolly. 

He’s already written a book about it.