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

Jason Moon for NHPR


Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern is running for New Hampshire governor in 2016.

Van Ostern announced his bid Thursday at a meeting of business and education leaders.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Many of the candidates for president this year have made an unusual detour from the campaign trail: strolling the sidewalks of a quiet North Manchester neighborhood with the city's mayor.

But it’s actually a longstanding tradition in New Hampshire primary politics. Presidential candidates hope to benefit from their associations with local officials – and the locals stand to gain, too.

When Gov. Maggie Hassan went public this week with her plans to take challenge Republican Kelly Ayotte for her U.S. Senate seat, she didn’t do it in a room full of supporters or while standing behind a bunting-draped podium. She headed straight to the internet with a video announcing her run.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has spent much of past few months criss-crossing New Hampshire. Nowadays, those campaign stops are attracting a lot more attention then they used to.

josh rogers/nhpr

Hillary Clinton spoke at Manchester Community College Monday. She noted the location was similar to that of the recent mass shooting in Oregon that left nine people dead. Clinton told the crowd the nation needs to stop greeting such events with what she termed a shrug.

“It’s time for us to say, 'Wait a minute, we are better than this. Our country is better than this, and there are steps we can take.' "

Clinton is proposing that any person engaging in "a high volume of gun sales," over the internet or at gun shows, perform background checks like seller at gun stores.

Screenshot via YouTube

NHPR’s Josh Rogers spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss Gov. Maggie Hassan's announcement that she is running for U.S. Senate in 2016.

BIELLO: So, long anticipated, now official. What’s this mean?

NHPR Staff

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Monday she is running for the U.S. Senate, setting up a long-anticipated contest against incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. 

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Every four years or so, someone proposes replacing Iowa and New Hampshire as the first two states on the presidential nomination calendar, raising the hackles of activists and politicos in both states. This year the call is perhaps more newsworthy, since it came from Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, in an interview with National Journal.

Screenshot via YouTube

Gov. Maggie Hassan Monday announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate, setting up a contest against Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte next year in what is expected to be a closely-watched race between two well-known, well-funded opponents.

Kate Harper for NHPR


Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton is returning to New Hampshire to talk about early childhood education.

Clinton is hosting a town hall at Manchester Community College on Monday morning and participating in an afternoon conference on early childhood education. She'll also join the Today Show for a town hall moderated by host Savannah Guthrie in New Hampshire.

After a long battle in Concord, the state’s business tax rates are now set to drop starting next year, the first such cut in more than a decade.

But the question of whether these cuts will succeed in luring new businesses to New Hampshire doesn't yet have a clear answer.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Speaking at an Odd Fellows hall in Goffstown, Ohio Governor John Kasich said the sanctuaries would provide relief to people fleeing violence and the no-fly zones would send a powerful message across the Middle East. But the GOP presidential candidate said the US must be willing to ensure both will be honored.

NHPR Staff

Preliminary numbers show New Hampshire closing the books on the 2015 budget with a $73 million surplus, far greater than what was expected.

During the budget writing phase, Gov. Maggie Hassan's office criticized lawmakers for counting on rolling nearly $50 million in surplus into the next budget.

Hassan's office says the surplus will help strengthen the state's rainy day fund and improve the state's financial outlook. She says the Legislature should consider using some of the money to address public school funding concerns.

File photo by Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump was back in New Hampshire Wednesday for a rally at Keene High School.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U


The New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office says the filing period for the 2016 presidential primary will start Wednesday, Nov. 4.

The filing starts the day after cities across the state hold their city elections.

The filing period will continue until Friday, Nov. 20.

The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for Veteran's Day, which is Nov. 11. The office will be open until 5 p.m. on the last day of filing.

Candidates who wish to file on the last day must do so in person.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson spent much of Wednesday campaigning in New Hampshire. Carson’s pitch to voters was simple: I may be in politics, but I’m no politician.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out this week shows Vice President Joe Biden with a better chance of defeating top Republican presidential candidates than Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

Chris Jensen for NHPR


New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is boldly taking on a role most of her fellow Republicans have disdained: public foil to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Readying for what could be a tough re-election bid in an increasingly swing state, Ayotte has challenged the Texas senator as he has pushed for a government shutdown over funds for Planned Parenthood.

NHPR Staff

The Hillary Clinton campaign has been doing it for weeks, rolling out the names of prominent local backers. Sometimes the names are big, such as Gov. Maggie Hassan. Other times, they are smaller, like Wednesday's endorser, former Executive Councilor Debora Pignatelli.

Either way, the Clinton campaign keeps them coming. But the same thing can’t be said for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who counts no current office holders among his Granite State backers. The question is: Does that matter in this election?

Associated Press

For as long as New Hampshire has hosted the nation’s first presidential primary contest, it seems outsiders have been trying to dilute the state’s influence. The latest such attempt comes from the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus.

In an interview with the National Journal, Priebus says he’s been supportive of early nominating states like New Hampshire and Iowa in the past, but “I don’t think anyone should get too comfortable.”

Linda Kaiser

In the spring and summer of 1999, then Ohio Congressman John Kasich was in the midst of his first presidential campaign in New Hampshire. As we've reported elsewhere, it was a campaign with some striking similarities to his current run.

Despite the fact that Kasich's earlier presidential bid lasted just a few months, it created its fair share of iconic New Hampshire Primary moments. 

Amazing, simple, easy, fair.

Those are just four of the words Donald Trump used on Monday to describe his new tax plan. It sounds like a standard GOP tax plan, with cuts and limits on deductions. But when you look closer, it takes those ideas much further than his GOP rivals do — to the extent that it could cost the federal government trillions of dollars.

So what is he proposing? Here's what you need to know about it:

What does it do?

Marco Rubio has no shortage of problems with the way President Obama has conducted his foreign policy.

The Florida senator and GOP presidential candidate says the Obama administration left "chaos" behind in the Middle East after withdrawing troops from Iraq in 2011. In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Rubio says that Russia has gained leverage from the perception that the United States abandoned the region.

New polls since last week’s second presidential debate show Republican candidate Donald Trump’s momentum has stalled.

A CNN/WMUR poll out on Thursday shows Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio gaining ground on Trump in New Hampshire, and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders with a 16 percent lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, where the first primaries will be held.

It wasn't long ago when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the top of the polls in Iowa.

Now, Walker's out of the race.

So which Republican candidate will reap the benefits?

"It’s kind of hard to tell," Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters told NHPR's Morning Edition. "Political talent here is just stretched so thin because of all the Republicans presidential candidates. Both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaigns are saying they’re picking up some support."


New Hampshire lawmakers plan to reopen the debate on whether the state should comply with federal personal identification laws. This comes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signaled it plans to strongly enforce compliance starting in 2016.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte is urging Republican colleagues not to risk a government shutdown over efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Ayotte was blunt: It’s time for Republicans to face reality.


Listen to enough political punditry, and you could easily conclude that America's rural areas are vast swaths of Republican support, with little variety in political opinion or voter demographics.

But recent research from the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy undercuts that assumption. In fact, rural America is actually surprisingly varied, researchers found -- at least when it comes to election results.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Planned Parenthood funding was a rallying cry during Saturday’s state Democratic convention and Jeanne Shaheen kept at an Exeter Planned Parenthood clinic.

“It’s very disappointing to see extremists using this issue as a political football at the expense of women’s health.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Each Monday, NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition host Rick Ganley for On The Political Front​, a look at the latest news from the statehouse and the campaign trail, and a preview of the week ahead in politics.