Political news from New Hampshire Public Radio, from the State House to the First in the Nation Primary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Hillary Rodham Clinton says her use of the term "illegal immigrants" was a "poor choice of words" and she's pledging not to use it anymore.

Clinton was asked about her use of the term to describe people who are in the U.S. illegally during a question-and-answer session Tuesday on Facebook held by Telemundo.

During a stop in New Hampshire earlier this month, the Democratic presidential candidate referred to immigrants that way while discussing her support for a barrier along the Mexican border as a New York senator.

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When discussing New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic, the focus is often on the big numbers — the hundreds of drug deaths, the thousands of pain prescriptions, the weeks it can take to get treatment.

But at the first meeting of a new task force looking at the issue in New Hampshire, those who testified brought those statistics to a personal level.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Presidential candidates Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio will remain on the New Hampshire Presidential Primary ballot. That’s after the state Ballot Law Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to reject a handful of challenges to their qualifications to run for president. 

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission is preparing to decide whether Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are eligible for the state's presidential primary ballot.

The group meets Tuesday to take up complaints against the candidates.

The challenge against Cruz, a Texas senator, alleges he's ineligible to run for president because he was born in Canada. Cruz's mother was born in Delaware, giving him U.S. citizenship upon birth.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley spent Monday campaigning in New Hampshire with stops in Manchester, Bedford and Rindge. 

At the RiverWoods Retirement Community in Exeter, O'Malley took questions on gun control, immigration -- and even one, from resident Monty Scharff, about how to boost his name recognition.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Legislature's new drug task force kicks off Tuesday with its first meeting aimed to help better address the state's opioid crisis.

The group has a busy schedule, with nearly 20 people expected to speak over the course of the day. That will include Manchester Chief of Police Nick Willard, and Tym Rourke, who chairs the Governor's commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Obama Administration is trying to ease concerns raised by some of the nation's governors, including Maggie Hassan, about the screening process for Syrian refugees brought to the United States.

Hassan last week called for a pause in Syrian refugee resettlement and has complained of poor communication from federal officials about the process. According to spokesman William Hinkle, Hassan brought up some of those concerns on a call with other governors and federal officials last week.

File Photo / NHPR


 Senator Jeanne Shaheen is calling for an additional $600 million in emergency federal funding to tackle opioid and heroin misuse across the country — and she says, as in previous public health crises, the federal government needs to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to this issue.

“We’re really looking at, how can we have a coordinated effort? The federal government did that in fighting Ebola. They’ve done that in other health emergencies,” Shaheen said. “We’re saying that this is a health emergency, and we need to ramp in the same way to fight it on all fronts.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is proposing $600 million in emergency funding to address the nation's opioid and heroin abuse crisis.

The bulk of the money would go to the Department of Health and Human Services, including $250 million that would be distributed to states as block grants for prevention, treatment and recovery programs. Another $200 million would go to the Department of Justice for grants that fund programs focused on law enforcement, courts and education.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition to talk about the politics to watch in the upcoming week. 

So Josh, in the wake of the Paris attacks just about every presidential candidate was on record weighing in on how to deal with ISIS, and on whether or not the U.S should continue taking refugees from Syria. But the person what may have made the most news in New Hampshire on that front was Governor Maggie Hassan.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Republican Chris Christie says New Hampshire voters should consider his experience and decisiveness as governor in choosing the next commander in chief. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Candidates have been able to file for the New Hampshire Primary ballot for the past three weeks. Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon, waited until the very last day.

For his supporters, the wait was worth it. Carson fans began gathering at a downtown Concord restaurant starting at 9 a.m.,only to be lead across the street to the State House in groups of 40. Carson himself wasn't scheduled to file until noon.

josh rogers/nhpr

John Kasich was blunt as he addressed the voters and several classes of local school children who packed into Hollis pharmacy. 

It may be hard for those of us in New Hampshire to believe -- but there's a whole other round of voting to come after our own presidential primary in February. And the outcome of that race will likely be shaped by factors impossible to predict at this point.

To help, the website FiveThirtyEight.com just published a guide to the seven major issues they believe will shape the 2016 White House race. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On the last day for candidates to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot, Vermin Supreme, known for campaigning with a massive boot on his head, made his third run for President official. This year, Supreme who is from Rockport, Massachusetts, is running as a Democrat. But his platform remains a bit out of the mainstream.


Almost all the big names have walked through the halls of the New Hampshire Statehouse, strolled into the Secretary of State's Office, and plunked down the $1,000 needed to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary.

  Only Republican Ben Carson is left to file, and he's set to take care of that on Friday, the last day to do so.

Kate Harper for NHPR


New Hampshire's largest public employee labor union is backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, bucking its national affiliate's endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

The State Employees' Association/SEIU Local 1984 represents 11,500 workers across New Hampshire. President Richard Gulla says the chapter is backing Sanders because of his support for maintaining retirement benefits, lowering college costs, better wages for workers and his willingness to take on Wall Street.


Both of New Hampshire’s Congressional representatives voted Thursday in favor of a bill to add extra screening steps for refugees resettling the United States from Syria and Iraq.

Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat, was one of 47 members of her party who sided with 242 Republicans to pass the bill.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

George Pataki’s polling average in New Hampshire is hovering under one percent, and he was shut out of the most recent "undercard" debate — but he’s not planning to bow out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination anytime soon.

josh rogers/nhpr

Jeb Bush says the federal government needs to allay public concern over refugee resettlement and chastised president Obama for “demonizing” people who disagree with him on refugee resettlement. 

Bush, who earlier said the U.S. should focus its efforts on resettling Christian refugees from the middle East,  now says resettlement of all refugees from Syria should pause until current policies could be strengthened.  

The superPAC backing Jeb Bush seemed to have everything it needed. It went into the primaries with the most money by far. Right to Rise USA had raised $103 million by June 30, with plenty of help from Bush before he officially announced his candidacy and could no longer legally ask for big contributions.

In September, Right to Rise put the money to work, announcing it would buy $24 million worth of TV ads in the first three nominating states: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

At every turn, this year's presidential campaign has proved conventional wisdom wrong. The aftermath of the Paris attacks might be another example.

As soon as the attacks were over, a chorus of (establishment) Republican voices predicted that the new focus on national security and terrorism would change the dynamic of the Republican race. This was the tipping point, they declared, that would finally usher out the outsiders leading the polls — Donald Trump and Ben Carson — in favor of more serious, experienced candidates.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Earlier this month, Dan Innis announced his candidacy for the congressional seat held by embattled Republican Frank Guinta. If he wins, Innis could become the nation’s first openly gay Republican elected to Congress.

Innis says for fellow New Hampshire Republicans, being gay hasn't been a problem. It’s his liberal and gay friends who have had the strongest reaction -- to his political affiliation. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Hassan’s stance on Syrian refugees aims to be calibrated.

Unlike some Governors, Hassan isn’t presuming to tell Washington New Hampshire won’t accept refugees.

And unlike others, she’s not accusing leaders who want to stop taking refugees of fear mongering.

Instead, Hassan is plotting, what, right now, is a lonely course: trying to explain, if not sell, something resembling a middle ground.

WBUR Poll: Trump Maintains Lead In New Hampshire

Nov 18, 2015

Less than three months before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, Donald Trump continues to maintain his lead over over the rest of the Republican presidential field in the state, according to a new poll commissioned by NPR member station WBUR.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers Wednesday overwhelmingly signed off on a joint task force charged with addressing the state’s opioid epidemic. The vote came in a special session of the Legislature.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

I don’t expect this will get me invited to many Manchester dinner parties or Sioux City porkfests. But here goes:

It’s time for Democrats to ditch Iowa and New Hampshire’s one-two punch at the front of the party’s presidential nominating calendar.

  John Kasich, the Ohio governor and Republican presidential hopeful, stopped by NHPR's offices in Concord recently for an interview with The Exchange.

On the way up to the studio,  we caught up with Kasich (and a few new friends) — asking him, specifically, for a quick pitch on why he should be president. Here's what he had to say.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Lawmakers will gather at the State House in Concord Wednesday for a special session devoted solely to tackling the issue of substance abuse.

The state saw a record number of drug overdoses last year – more than 300 – and opioid, heroin, and prescription drug abuse continues to plague communities across the Granite State.

To talk about the special session, Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem joined NHPR's Morning Edition.


Concord attorney and Democratic activist Andru Volinsky  is running for the Executive Council.