NH Politics

Sean Hurley

Here's a question: Which New Hampshire community is the best bellwether for the statewide political climate? It's not an old industrial city, or a Seacoast suburb, or a lakeside resort town. It's actually the tiny Coos County village of Shelburne.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Coming on the heels of last year's prolonged budget fight, with negotiations stretching months longer than usual, the 2016 session of the New Hampshire Legislature can't help but seem a bit sleepier. But, in fact, it was a busy few months for lawmakers.

Things kicked off early, actually, with a special session in November to address the state's opioid crisis. Lawmakers eventually worked through more than 1,000 bills, wrapping things up late last month. 

When the owner of Coed Sportswear in Newfields introduced Chris Sununu during a tour of the business a few weeks back, he included a line Sununu’s probably used to hearing by now. 

“He comes from a political family that has a long history of, from my perspective, making the right decisions for our country,” Mark Lane told his staff at the sportswear company, listing off one of several reasons he wanted Sununu to speak to them.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Among the Democrats running for governor this year is Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern. He's a candidate who's no stranger to running political campaigns and is now seeking statewide office for the first time.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

“Keep it simple. Get it done.” That's the slogan Republican Ted Gatsas is using in his campaign for governor. It’s a theme the Manchester Mayor has turned to time and time again throughout his political career. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan has issued an executive order barring discrimination in state government against transgender individuals.

Natasha Haverty

Senator Kelly Ayotte is in the middle of a competitive reelection bid this year.  In her six years in Washington she's quickly risen from the ranks of rookie politician to the national spotlight. But enough with that for the moment. We sent NHPR's State of Democracy reporter Natasha Haverty off the campaign trail, to see what Ayotte's daily working life is like on Capitol Hill. She sends this report.


via C-Span

Mark Connolly is running for Governor. Today, he runs his own small investment company. But his resume runs the spectrum from financial executive to deputy secretary of state.

There are a lot of reasons to run for office. Ideological convictions. Hunger for power. A sense of duty to serve. But Connolly seems driven by a desire to improve what he sees as the technical and structural weaknesses in Concord.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

A small group of Republicans is planning an effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination for President. Members of this group are concerned that Trump’s inflammatory statements and poor fundraising figures could cost the GOP both the presidency and seats in the House and Senate. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

There are four candidates in the 2016 gubernatorial Republican primary, most with several years’ experience in New Hampshire politics. Then there’s Frank Edelblut. The first-term state lawmaker from Wilton is casting himself as a business-savvy outsider who understands the evolving economy.

In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the debate over guns and how to keep them away from potential terrorists has been center stage in the U.S. Senate.  And so has New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte.

A bill she helped draft Monday aims to bar suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the issue of gun control is looking to be key to her re-election effort this year. But Ayotte’s involvement with gun policy and politics extends farther back that her six years in the U.S Senate.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster joined dozens of Democratic colleagues who took over the floor of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday to call for a vote on gun reforms.

“We have got to take a stand,” Kuster said Wednesday, during the gun discussion. “We can be silent no longer. We need a vote on the floor of this House.”

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Among the Democrats vying for the title of New Hampshire governor this year is former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand. He's hoping his mix of political and fiscal experience will win over voters in the Democratic primary this September.

N.H. Elections 2016: The Race for U.S Congress

Jun 21, 2016
Kevin Flynn for NHPR

We check in on  the races for seats in both the U.S. Senate and House, taking  stock of who the candidates are in each race, and which incumbents may be facing strong challenges. We also look at what issues might define the upcoming months of campaigning here in New Hampshire, including the opioid crisis and gun control.

GUESTS

  • James Pindell – political reporter For The Boston Globe
  • Dante Scala - associate professor of political science at UNH, and a fellow at UNH's Carsey School of Public Policy. 

N.H. Elections 2016: The Race for U.S Congress

Jun 21, 2016
Kevin Flynn for NHPR

We check in on  the races for seats in both the U.S. Senate and House, taking  stock of who the candidates are in each race, and which incumbents may be facing strong challenges. We also look at what issues might define the upcoming months of campaigning here in New Hampshire, including the opioid crisis and gun control.


Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Sen. Jeanie Forrester, a Republican candidate for governor, holds one of the most powerful seats in the State House: She’s chair of the influential Senate Finance Committee, with a big say in how every state dollar is raised and spent.

But you won’t hear Forrester talk too much on the campaign trail about her work in Concord. Rather, Forrester is pitching herself as more community leader than State House insider.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

By the end of the day at the New Hampshire Democrats’ state convention, it was hard to miss the message that party leaders were trying to pitch to their grassroots activists, heading into the general election this fall.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, will be opening its Statehouse on weekends for the first time in nearly two decades.

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed into law this week a bill that paves the way for the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce pay the security costs and provide docents to lead tours.

Chamber director Tim Sink said the plan is to offer Saturday tours Memorial Day through Columbus Day, but tours this year probably won't get off the ground until the fall.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Today lawmakers approved a 1.5 million dollar statewide drug enforcement program known as Granite Hammer.

After a lengthy procedural debate in the House over whether to proceed with the special session, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill. The legislation, based on a Manchester Police Department initiative, would create a grant program to fund drug enforcement efforts at county and local police departments.

A former Republican state representative who was arrested in connection with alleged voter fraud during New Hampshire's presidential primary has been arraigned on witness tampering and bribery charges.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports Don Leeman of Rochester appeared in Strafford County Superior Court on Wednesday. He remains out on bail.

The attorney general's office says Leeman, who resigned in May, was representing and voted in a district in which he was no longer domiciled during the February primary.

Allegra Boverman/NHPR

Back in February, New Hampshire handed Sen. Bernie Sanders his first victory in pursuit of the presidency. Four months later, with Hillary Clinton poised to earn the Democratic nomination, where does that leave the more than 151,000 Granite Staters who backed her opponent?

Well, it depends.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Eight New Hampshire senators have announced they'll be moving on -- some to other offices, some back to private life.  We'll sit down with four of them, looking back at the accomplishments and challenges of their tenure and discussing how New Hampshire politics and the legislature has changed over the years.

This program was hosted by Dean Spiliotes, Civic Scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at Southern New Hampshire University.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers wrapped up what was supposed to be their final session day of the year Wednesday.

But after meeting on Thursday, Republican leaders in the House and Senate decided to call members back to Concord in two weeks to vote again on a measure that unexpectedly failed earlier this week.

The bill would add $1.5 million to help law enforcement officials combat the state’s drug problem. The program known as “Operation Granite Hammer” seeks to target low level drug-dealers as a way to pursue larger scale dealers.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

With more than 1,000 bills to sift through at the start of this legislative session, New Hampshire lawmakers wrapped up its last full session day of the year this Wednesday.

And after having to work on a compromise state budget when the Governor vetoed the two-year spending bill last summer, and then being called back for special session to address the state’s drug crisis in the fall, state lawmakers are looking forward to a light summer workload.

freshheadfilms via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/G8k5T

Gov. Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that would repeal a ban on the sale and use of some firecrackers in New Hampshire.

Hassan said Tuesday that it's unnecessary to change current law, which already provides public access to fireworks while aiming to minimize safety risks.

C-SPAN

Followers of New Hampshire politics might’ve noticed a familiar face (and voice) at Donald Trump’s much-hyped press conference on Tuesday morning: Al Baldasaro, a state representative from Londonderry who Trump has referred to at varying times as “The King” and his “favorite vet.”

Courtesy of Facebook

A former state representative from Rochester has been arrested on charges related to voter fraud.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, during the recent presidential primary Don Leeman voted in a district he no longer lived in and then tried to bribe a local employee to cover it up.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

This week lawmakers will have their final say on dozens of bills still left over from this year's legislative session. Wednesday is the last chance any bills have of making it to the Governor’s desk this year.

SHARON MATTHESON-MCCUTCHEON / FLICKR

A controversial practice that seeks to convert minors from being gay is likely to remain legal in New Hampshire.

Lawmakers this week failed to agree on a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for those under 18.

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