Politics

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

For Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern, two New Hampshire employers – Stonyfield Farm and Southern New Hampshire University -- figure heavily in his message to voters. NHPR’s Jason Moon reports on what Van Ostern’s time at these companies might tell us about how he’d operate as governor.

Natasha Haverty

Vermont senator and former presidential contender Bernie Sanders spent Labor Day in New Hampshire.

Mark Connolly

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Connolly says he’s back in for an upcoming debate on WMUR TV, after labor dispute negotiations at the station showed signs of progress.

Last week, Mark Connolly had cited the dispute between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1228 and WMUR, when he said he would not participate in a debate scheduled for this Tuesday.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The campaigns of two people hoping to get on New Hampshire's presidential ballot made progress toward that goal this week.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be spending Labor Day in New Hampshire. 

Sanders will start his day in Manchester, at the AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast. That’s at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Sanders then heads to Lebanon, where he’ll be campaigning for his former rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. That’s at Lebanon High School; doors open at 2.

This is Sanders’ first time campaigning for Clinton, since he endorsed her at an event in Portsmouth back in July.

You might already be overwhelmed by the number of TV ads about this year's U.S. Senate race between Kelly Ayotte and Maggie Hassan.  And if you're like a lot of people, you're confused about who's paying for all these 30-second commercials, and why.

Before you tune it out completely, here's a video guide to navigating the political advertising - and money - behind this important race.

 A substance-abuse treatment advocate who appeared in a political ad criticizing Gov. Maggie Hassan's handling of the state's drug crisis has resigned from the nonprofit she once led.

Melissa Crews stepped down from the board of HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery earlier this week, according to the Concord Monitor.

Jason Moon for NHPR

At their first debate Thursday, incumbent Republican U.S Senator Kelly Ayotte and her challenger, former state Senator Jim Rubens, clashed on the topic of immigration.

Rubens spent much of the debate on NH1 News going after Ayotte’s record on nearly every issue, including her support for the so-called Gang of Eight immigration reform bill in 2013.

The bill included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States. It passed the U.S. Senate, but ultimately failed in the House.

Republican Chris Sununu has made his experience as head of the Waterville Valley ski resort a big part of his campaign for governor. What does his time there tell us about his readiness to take the corner office in the State House?

Democratic Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine rallied local democrats in Dover, Laconia and Nashua Thursday, and talked education in Manchester. Kaine said policymakers at all levels need to work to make education more responsive to the needs of employers. He also took aim at GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“The main thing we know about education from the other side is this Trump University thing, where education was viewed as a little bit of a con job. You know, give us a lot of money and we’ll give you something that probably not worth the paper that it’s printed on.”

NHPR staff

Ted Gatsas isn’t the first candidate for governor to take advantage of a gap in New Hampshire’s election law that allows wealthy donors to dodge limits on campaign contributions.

But no one has benefited more from the so-called LLC loophole than the Manchester mayor.

As New Hampshire students head back to school this week, education is on many parents’ minds. And with the gubernatorial primary less than two weeks away, candidates’ positions on these issues could play a major role on voters’ decisions. 

In this year’s governor’s race, the candidates’ views fall largely along party lines, with differences over how much and where to spend money.

At a debate hosted by NH1 News Wednesday night, a candidate’s comment from earlier this summer regarding how communities have handled the state’s drug crisis sparked some heated back and forth.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Six of the seven candidates running for New Hampshire governor participated in a forum on young children today at Saint Anselm College.

The forum was sponsored by Spark NH, an advisory council of governor-appointed early childhood professionals. Attendees included business owners, early childhood professionals, and elected officials.

Mark Connolly

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Mark Connolly says he won’t participate in an upcoming debate on WMUR-TV because of an ongoing labor dispute.

In a statement released this afternoon, Mark Connolly cited the dispute between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1228 and WMUR, saying that without an agreement in place, he would not participate. He called on his Democratic opponents to do the same.

If you’ve spent any time following the Republicans running for governor this year, you’ve probably heard plenty of talk about the need to jumpstart New Hampshire’s economy.

Michael Brindley

Republican Kelly Ayotte is running for re-election, and while most of the headlines are about her race against Gov. Maggie Hassan, Jim Rubens has something to say about that.

The former state Senator is challenging Ayotte’s re-election in next month’s Republican primary, but even his supporters know the odds are against him.

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Sununu says it's wrong to ask questions about a major investor in the Waterville Valley Ski resort that was once investigated for terror ties.

josh rogers/nhpr

Ohio Governor John Kasich has endorsed Chris Sununu's in the race for New Hampshire Governor.

In a state house news conference Kasich called Sununu  "a pragmatic conservative."

"He's solid, he's calm, he's in the best tradition of public service, which the Sununus' have always represented. And I'm going to be able to call him governor -- Chris Sununu -- soon, and I will hopefully have a little ante-office next time I'm back that he will reserve for me whether I'm in or out."     

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen says recent attacks focused on the Clinton Foundation are a diversionary tactic by Republicans to take attention away from Donald Trump.

The Associated Press reported last week that while Secretary of State, more than half of Hillary Clinton’s private meetings with those from outside government were with people who donated to the foundation.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Ohio governor and former presidential candidate John Kasich is coming back to New Hampshire this weekend — this time to lend a hand in a downticket race.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld are campaigning in New Hampshire today. They'll be holding a rally in Concord's Eagle Square at 5:30. Earlier this afternoon they paid a quick visit to a frequent campaign stop-- the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester. 


For political observers and journalists, there is something appealing about the idea of a bellwether town -- a place whose vote in an election consistently matches up with the statewide totals. Journalists can patrol the main streets of bellwethers for man-on-the-street interviews, confident they will feel shifts in the broader political winds.

But the data shows that true bellwethers are an endangered species in many parts of the country. 

NHPR

Democrat Colin Van Ostern and Republican Ted Gatsas are leading the cash race in the contest for governor.

Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday show Van Ostern has raised just over $1 million and Gatsas just below that amount, not including a $75,000 personal loan. The totals are significantly higher than their competitors. The primary is Sept. 13.

Republican Rep. Frank Edelblut has contributed $750,000 to his own campaign, giving him the highest cash on hand at this point.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump will be back in New Hampshire Thursday.

The Republican presidential nominee is scheduled to hold a campaign rally at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester at 1 p.m. This will be his second trip to the state this month.

His visit comes after a major campaign shakeup: Trump last week named Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon as his campaign CEO, and promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager.

Campaign chairman Paul Manafort also stepped down.

When Governor Maggie Hassan talks about why she got into politics her explanation tends to center on her son, Ben.

“Right after he was born Tom and I learned that Ben had severe and pervasive physical disabilities.”

Less emphasized is the role of her father, Robert Wood, a pioneering academic and who held top government jobs -- and even considered his own run for United States Senate in Massachusetts.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

While campaigning in Manchester, Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence reminded the audience that New Hampshire is where Trump got his first victory.  And he worked to reassure the crowd that despite reports to the contrary, the GOP nominee’s campaign has never been stronger.

Pence told the crowd he didn’t hesitate when Donald Trump asked him to be his running mate, because as he put it-- Donald Trump gets it. Pence suggested that those who don’t get that won’t ever understand.

New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster says hackers may have accessed her personal information as part of a breach that targeted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Democrat tells WMUR-TV she's working with the FBI and national security experts. She says "we're increasing our own security on all of our systems."

Jason Moon for NHPR

The political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England waded into the Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday morning when it endorsed Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern. The move has exposed a disagreement among abortion rights activists over the role they should play in this election.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump's New Hampshire campaign is adding staff, but the GOP nominee's local campaign still has far fewer paid employees than that of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Trump-Pence campaign has named three new hires, including Mark Sanborn, who will serve as the GOP ticket's state political director. Sanborn has experience in New Hampshire politics, including stints working for U.S. Senator Bob Smith and Congressman Charlie Bass.

The Trump campaign has also added a local coalitions director and a communications director.

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