Politics

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

The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, claimed allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State during a phone call to 911 early Sunday. And that's reignited a debate over how to label the ideology that apparently inspired the attack.

Republican Donald Trump and many on the right say it's "radical Islam." But Democrat Hillary Clinton used a different term: "radical Islamism." It's not just a debate over semantics.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

According to Donald Trump's state campaign co-chairman, Steve Stepanek,  Trump's speech at St. Anselm college --  which featured a broadened call for tighter borders, and a post-Orlando pledge of fealty to the nation's LGBT community  --  was a sign that Republicans are uniting.   

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Republican Ted Gatsas, Manchester mayor and a former state senate president, arrived at the statehouse completed paperwork to run for governor in hand.

"Don't worry, we come prepared. I know what it is up here. I've done it a few times."

The same goes for former Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter. The Rochester democrat formalized her sixth campaign to represent the first district. Much, she says, remains the same.

NHPR

The Portsmouth Police Department is preparing for a Donald Trump campaign event Monday evening.

Trump is scheduled to give a speech at Saint Anselm College at 2:30 on Monday before heading over to Great Bay Community College for a rally at 6.

Portsmouth Police Chief David Mara says his department, along with state police and Secret Service are working with the college to prepare for a large crowd and the possibility of protestors.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Warren, a hero of progressive Democrats, is the latest party leader to fall in line behind Clinton after she clinched the requisite number of delegates earlier this week over rival Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton declared victory on Tuesday night, but Bernie Sanders fights on.

"The struggle continues. We are going to fight for every vote in Tuesday's primary in Washington, DC, and then we will bring our political revolution to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia," he wrote in a fundraising email sent Wednesday morning, adding, "we will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate we can get."

Sanders pledged to keep campaigning through the District of Columbia primary on June 14.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Republican Donald Trump is set to return to New Hampshire next week, his first visit to the state since winning the New Hampshire presidential primary. 

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate

After filing to run for Governor, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu told reporters it would be "crazy" to think the state can solve the opioid crisis without spending more money to boost treatment options and increase anti-drug education in schools.

But more than money, Sununu said, New Hampshire needs leadership.

AP

Ronald Reagan clobbered Jimmy Carter in the 1980 New Hampshire presidential election. Four years later, he did the same to Walter Mondale. So resounding were those thumpings, Carter won just two towns in the state, Mondale five. 

Republican supremacy in the state did not start with Reagan, nor did it end with him. But Reagan’s two victories may represent the GOP high-water mark in New Hampshire presidential contests. The question now is: Has Republican support in the state bottomed out, or could it continue to fall in 2016? And what might Donald Trump, this year's unconventional GOP nominee, mean for this trend?

Maggie Hassan's pitch as she officially joined the race she's now been running for months was practiced -- and pointed. 

"I've been working for the people of New Hampshire and Kelly Ayotte has been standing with special interests time and time again, whether it's with the Supreme Court or now with Donald Trump, and his special interest backers."

Hassan cited her efforts to control the cost of higher education and defend abortion rights with votes Ayotte has taken to cut Pell grants and defund Planned Parenthood. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

It’s still about three months before New Hampshire Democrats decide who their party’s nominee for governor will be. But in pubs, coffee shops, and living rooms around the state the race is quietly picking up speed.

The people coming out to see the Democrats running for governor at this point in the race can be roughly divided into two groups:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is criticizing comments made by Donald Trump suggesting the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud case is biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

"His comments are offensive and wrong, and he should retract them," Ayotte said in a statement provided to several news outlets Sunday.

Still, Ayotte's office tells WMUR that she still intends to vote for Trump, though continues to make the distinction that she won't endorse him.

Hillary Clinton won today's Democratic primary in Puerto Rico, according to the Associated Press.

With about a quarter of precincts reporting, Clinton had about two-thirds of the vote. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had about one-third.

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.

About three months after the primary and two months ahead of the Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders has picked up his first New Hampshire superdelegate — Martha Fuller Clark, a state senator from Portsmouth and the vice chair of the state party.

Jason Moon for NHPR

When Kelly Ayotte officially registered her candidacy for re-election to the Senate yesterday, many were focused on how a race between her and Gov. Maggie Hassan might play out. But before she can get to that, Ayotte must first contend with a primary challenge from Jim Rubens, a former Republican state senator. He also filed his candidacy yesterday.

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.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte officially filed to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate today.

After a brief rally with supporters on the State House lawn, the first-term Republican made her way inside to the Secretary of State’s office, where she paid the $100 filing fee and officially entered what will likely be one of the most watched Senate races of the year.

Trump University was no university the way most people think of one.

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican State Senator Nancy Stiles of Hampton says she won't seek another term in the fall. 

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.

Spend any time around Sen. Kelly Ayotte or Gov. Maggie Hassan nowadays, and you'll hear repeated assurances that while it may be election season, they remain wholly dedicated to serving New Hampshire.

But take a look at either’s fundraising books in their race for the U.S. Senate, and you'll find plenty of proof that both are also focusing further afield.

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

NHPR Staff

Governor Maggie Hassan says last week's shooting of two Manchester police officers by a suspect who with mental health problems illustrates the need for New Hampshire to do a better job of keeping guns away from people who shouldn't have them.

"I think this issue needs to be looked at by a broad coalition of stakeholders and that is certainly one of the questions that they should address. I think we should work together to take steps forward to improve public safety and public heath of New Hampshire," Hassan said.

NHPR Staff

A new WBUR poll of likely New Hampshire voters shows Democrat Hillary Clinton with a slight edge over Republican Donald Trump. In the state's U.S. Senate race, the poll also found Democrat Maggie Hassan with a small lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. For more on this poll, we turn to Steve Koszela, president of the MassINC polling group, which conducted the survey. He spoke with NHPR's All Things Considered host Peter Biello.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

While Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she won’t endorse Donald Trump, she would welcome a change in tone heading into November’s election.

“I would certainly like him to speak in ways that are more inclusive. I believe that’s important,” Ayotte told NHPR’s Morning Edition, referring to the GOP’s apparent presidential nominee.

“And I hope that he will surround himself with knowledgeable people on important issues, like foreign policy,” she added. “To me, that’s important for any candidate for president.”

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