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

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

There are four candidates in the 2016 gubernatorial Republican primary, most with several years’ experience in New Hampshire politics. Then there’s Frank Edelblut. The first-term state lawmaker from Wilton is casting himself as a business-savvy outsider who understands the evolving economy.

josh rogers/nhpr

The state reps gathered in the house well. They mostly talked about how the nation needs to break the gridlock on the gun debate. Jackie Cilley represents Barrington.

"It is a war zone, and there are practical, sensible solutions that we can promulgate and legislators, nationally and in this state that will make it a little less so."

When Governor Hassan joined the sit in, she spoke briefly, but pointedly on guns.

"It is absolutely essential that we expand background checks, so that known and suspected terrorist can't buy guns at gun shows or online."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

There's a wide fundraising gap between two of the Democrats hoping to become New Hampshire's next governor.

Candidates are not required to file campaign finance reports until Aug. 24, less than a month before the Sept. 13 primary. But Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern and businessman Mark Connolly filed reports Wednesday, a deadline for non-candidate committees to file.

In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the debate over guns and how to keep them away from potential terrorists has been center stage in the U.S. Senate.  And so has New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte.

A bill she helped draft Monday aims to bar suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the issue of gun control is looking to be key to her re-election effort this year. But Ayotte’s involvement with gun policy and politics extends farther back that her six years in the U.S Senate.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster joined dozens of Democratic colleagues who took over the floor of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday to call for a vote on gun reforms.

“We have got to take a stand,” Kuster said Wednesday, during the gun discussion. “We can be silent no longer. We need a vote on the floor of this House.”

It’s easy for Americans to see the Brexit debate as a British issue. But the personal finance website Bankrate.com says if Britons vote tomorrow to exit the European Union, European vacations will likely be cheaper, mortgage rates might fall, the stock market could drop, and it would be harder to find a job in Britain.

Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins talks to economist Diane Swonk about the impact of Brexit on Americans.

What is your opinion on the Brexit? Let us know in a Here & Now poll:

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Among the Democrats vying for the title of New Hampshire governor this year is former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand. He's hoping his mix of political and fiscal experience will win over voters in the Democratic primary this September.

Things are not going well for Donald Trump.

On Monday, he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski ran the campaign on a shoestring budget and a strategy that was largely built off and fueled by the candidate's say-whatever personality and brand.

In the runup to this election season, The Party Decides seemed to be on every political science nerd's reading list.

As the U.S. Senate debates measures to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, New Hampshire's Senator Kelly Ayotte is throwing her support to a proposal drafted by Maine Senator Susan Collins.

The plan would bar people on the TSA's no-fly and selected lists from buying guns. It also creates an appeals process where people wrongly blocked from buying gun could recover legal fees from the federal government.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Following outcry over the role of superdelegates in the party’s presidential nomination, New Hampshire Democrats voted to reform the delegate selection process ahead of the 2020 presidential primary. 

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Sen. Jeanie Forrester, a Republican candidate for governor, holds one of the most powerful seats in the State House: She’s chair of the influential Senate Finance Committee, with a big say in how every state dollar is raised and spent.

But you won’t hear Forrester talk too much on the campaign trail about her work in Concord. Rather, Forrester is pitching herself as more community leader than State House insider.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

By the end of the day at the New Hampshire Democrats’ state convention, it was hard to miss the message that party leaders were trying to pitch to their grassroots activists, heading into the general election this fall.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Today lawmakers approved a 1.5 million dollar statewide drug enforcement program known as Granite Hammer.

After a lengthy procedural debate in the House over whether to proceed with the special session, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill. The legislation, based on a Manchester Police Department initiative, would create a grant program to fund drug enforcement efforts at county and local police departments.

As the general election shifts into high gear, a pair of Republican governors and a 15-term representative this week voiced their frustrations with the party's presumptive presidential nominee and have decided they cannot get onboard the Trump train.

Fred Upton, R-Mich., joins Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and also Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who ran for president against Donald Trump.

Earlier this year, we noticed a pattern in which states were voting for Hillary Clinton and which were voting for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contests. Sanders tended to win the states that had the highest income equality (as measured by the Gini index, a widely used measure of inequality), and Clinton tended to win states that were the most unequal.

If one needed proof the opioid crisis is seen as a powerful election issue, confirmation came last week, in the form a $4.6 million dollar ad buy from the GOP group, One Nation.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

In Nashua on Wednesday, Republican Ted Gatsas announced his plan to fight opiate addiction across the state. In front of city hall, Gatsas told a small gathering of reporters the heroin crisis needs leadership, saying, "My first act as Governor would be to declare this fentanyl heroin epidemic is a public health emergency." 

Allegra Boverman/NHPR

Back in February, New Hampshire handed Sen. Bernie Sanders his first victory in pursuit of the presidency. Four months later, with Hillary Clinton poised to earn the Democratic nomination, where does that leave the more than 151,000 Granite Staters who backed her opponent?

Well, it depends.

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.


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.


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: