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

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

With all of the recent posturing at the State House, it might be easy to assume that Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republicans in the Legislature are having trouble finding common ground on how best to tackle substance abuse. But, as lawmakers gear up for a special session devoted to New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic, that’s not necessarily the case.

The towns in New Hampshire's White Mountains region have been must-stops on the campaign schedules of presidential candidates for decades. The region's sweeping views, quaint villages and history of resilience make it the ideal backdrop for those auditioning for the Oval Office. But what’s in it for the voters? And how engaged are they, away from the campaign stops and photo ops? NHPR's Natasha Haverty wanted to find out.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan is defending her call for the U.S. government to stop accepting refugees from Syria. 

Hassan is the only democratic among the 30 U.S governors opposing current U.S. policy on Syrian refugee resettlement.

She says calling for "a pause" in  Syrian refugee resettlement in light of the Paris attacks is consistent with she called the first job of government, protecting the people.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, Sen. Kelly Ayotte is among the political leaders here in the Granite State pushing back against President Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees.

"Well, we’re certainly a compassionate nation, but national security has to come first," Ayotte told NHPR's Morning Edition.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a statement, Governor Hassan said U.S. intelligence and defense officials need to assure that the process for vetting refugees is "as strong as possible."

Until that happens, says Hassan,  "the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria." 

Senator Kelly Ayotte also says no refugees should be allowed into the country until the government can "100 percent guarantee" they are not affiliated with the Islamic State.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last week we took a closer look at the most vigorous defender of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary: Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Over the past four decades, Gardner has met nearly every candidate to run for president. That access has provided him a fair share of stories -- so many stories, in fact, that we couldn't find room for even a fraction of them all.

Reuters / Vincent Kessler

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

The New Hampshire campaign trail has been mostly quiet since the Paris attacks.  Democrats were in Iowa for their weekend debate; Republicans have been mostly elsewhere since late last week. How much will Paris change things?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Rand Paul has spent plenty of time in New Hampshire over the past few years, and tried to build up some local political capital.

Political pundits are wondering if Donald Trump had a Howard Dean-like political meltdown moment last night, when, in a 95-minute speech in Iowa, the Republican presidential candidate cursed numerous times and asked “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” in reference to their support of Ben Carson.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Bernie Sanders’ party affiliation on the New Hampshire primary ballot is  being officially challenged. Sanders, who serves in the U.S. Senate as an independent, filed for the presidential primary as a Democrat last week. But now a New York lawyer, who also filed for president, is putting Sanders' status into question. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For the past two weeks, presidential candidates have been handing in the paperwork needed to qualify for the New Hampshire primary ballot. In doing so, they also come face to face with Secretary of State Bill Gardner, whose office oversees the election. He's also the man most responsible for ensuring that New Hampshire has retained its first-in-the-nation status when it comes to the presidential primary calendar.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

GOP presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich sits down for an in-depth discussion about the issues on New Hampshire voters’ minds this election season. The forum was recorded live-to-tape on Thursday, November 12th in front of a live audience.

Listen to the full conversation right here:

This event is a partnership between New Hampshire Public Radio and Concord Young Professionals. Broadcast times: Thursday, November 12, at 8pm and Monday November 16th at 9am and 8pm.

Live tweets from the forum:

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Three more Republicans have joined the New Hampshire primary ballot. Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum made it official Thursday morning after passing in the required paperwork and paying the $1,000 filing fee.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The 8 a.m. “Politics and Eggs” forum was somewhat more subdued than the booming campaign rallies Donald Trump has held in other parts of the state.

But the crowd gathered in at the Manchester Radisson Wednesday morning was — to borrow a favorite descriptor from the candidate himself — still pretty “huge.”

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Republican lawmakers will propose a special task force to review solutions to the state’s opioid crisis when the Legislature returns for a special session next week. 

Here & Now‘s Republican strategist Paris Dennard says it’s too early to subscribe to the growing sentiment among Washington insiders that the Republican nomination will come down to a contest between Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Dennard will be watching tonight’s fourth GOP debate in Milwaukee, to see which of the eight candidates on the main stage will attack first. He thinks Marco Rubio will be the No. 1 target. He speaks with Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson about what the Florida senator will face.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined steps to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs today, casting herself as a protector against proposals to privatize the sprawling health care system for those who have served in the military.

In a pre-Veterans Day event in New Hampshire, the Democratic presidential candidate said she would seek to improve veterans' health care, modernize veterans' benefits system and address an unwieldy bureaucracy.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

Jason Moon / NHPR

For months now presidential candidates have been campaigning in New Hampshire. But to officially enter the race, candidates large and small, Republican and Democrat alike, must pass through the Secretary of State's office. It's a time honored tradition of the New Hampshire primary, but it can lead to some unexpected presidential run-ins. Like yesterday with Jim Gilmore and Hillary Clinton.

For some, it's a chance to show off an army of supporters and pay homage to a long-running New Hampshire political tradition. For others, it's a chance to formalize their run for the presidency — however far-fetched their candidacy may be.

Derek Thompson of The Atlantic talks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about what it means for a presidential candidate when he or she is called dishonest, and how that is perceived by the public.

Graham 2016

With less than three months until the New Hampshire primary, Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham has begun airing his first television and radio ads in the state.

Graham has been among the most avid on-the-ground campaigners in the state: Since August, he's spent 33 days here. But this will be the first time Graham has spent money on ads.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A Manchester man has turned himself in to police after a warrant was issued accusing him of giving false addresses and voting in two other towns on Election Day in November 2014. The attorney general's office says Derek Castonguay registered to vote in Salem last year while living in Manchester.

Allegra Boverman, Kate Brindley for NHPR

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Mondays to talk about the week ahead in Politics. 

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson has been having a rough couple of days. In the past 48 hours, several news organizations have raised questions about aspects of his past.

But even as he's weathered the increased media scrutiny, this week also saw Carson grab headlines for a decidedly different campaign milestone: He dropped a rap song.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

It’s one of the quirkiest traditions of the New Hampshire presidential primary: Politics and eggs.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

 When Tim Pifer started out two decades ago as a drug chemist with the state, it didn’t take long at all to process the drug samples dropped off by law enforcement.

“There literally was a time when we’d take the drugs in, and we’d tell the officers to go downstairs and have a coffee, and we’d give you the drugs back,” Pifer recalled Friday.

Not so anymore.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republicans John Kasich and Chris Christie have both made a strong showing in New Hampshire a top priority. And after signing the required paperwork and handing over the $1000 filing fee, both men were quick to praise the judgment of New Hampshire voters, and tout the effect of a strong local showing.

"This is the way to do it. Forget me, this is a great process. I have confidence that the people of New Hampshire make really good choices and then then present it to the country."

That was John Kasich. Here's Chris Christie:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

If any single mode of campaigning could be said to typify the New Hampshire Primary it would probably be the town hall meeting - where would-be presidents throw open the floor to questions from all comers. Some New Hampshire Primary winners - think John McCain - have put town halls at the very center of their strategies. But that’s not been the case with top candidates this year.

Via C-Span

Businessman Mark Connolly is running for governor. Connolly announced his candidacy Thursday in Manchester - entering a Democratic field that includes Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is not seeking re-election, as she pursues a U.S. Senate run.

Connolly is a former head of the state's Bureau of Securities Regulation, former deputy secretary of state and previously was a state representative. He runs an investment advising company in New Castle.