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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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.

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


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.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Jeanie Forrester wants New Hampshire to step up efforts to recruit businesses to move here, and she wants to reward businesses that expand with tax relief.

As Forrester sees it, New Hampshire has been held back for years because Concord, under a string of Democratic governors, has become set in its ways.


Via tainoconsultinggroup.com

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Editing on Mondays to discuss the latest in New Hampshire politics and the news that's likely to shape the conversation among the state's lawmakers. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race is, and is likely to remain, the state political race that gets the most attention. But the race for governor, which features crowded primaries among Republicans and Democrats and no big favorite, is also starting to crank up. Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition's Rick Ganley to talk about it.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan used a speech at an event at St. Anselm College to promote what she says is her record of working across the aisle. Hassan told the crowd of business people at politics and eggs that Republicans and Democrats in Concord may argue, but they also compromise in the interest of their constituents.

"Time and again in New Hampshire we have shown that we can put out differences aside and get results for out people and our businesses and it is long past time for Washington to take the same approach."


House lawmakers have voted 217-132 to require local officials to issue conceal weapons permits to person not barred from owning a gun.

The mostly party line vote came after the GOP-controlled house overturned a committee recommendation to kill the bill.

Seabrook Republican Max Abramson told colleagues this bill was about making sure a constitutional right is unabridged.

"Senate bill 336 would simply restore the right of law abiding gun owners, who have the lawful right to open carry, to simply put on their jacket."

PROBartolomej Jahoda via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/F4s3N

 The New Hampshire House has again voted decriminalize marijuana. This proposal would make first offense possession of a 1/4 ounce or less a violation.

The 289-58 vote marked the seventh time house lawmakers have tried to make marijuana possession a violation.

Backers of this proposal, like Hampton Democrat Renny Cushing pitched it as a middle ground.

"This is a compromise that will allow us to have first time offenders who have a small amount of marijuana escape a lifetime of draconian punishment for that and have a second chance."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrat Molly Kelly and Republican David Boutin announced Tuesday they will not seek re-election to the state Senate this year.

Kelly, who lives in Harrisville and represents Keene and the surrounding area, was elected in 2006, and said it was a difficult decision not to seek a sixth term.  

"This does not mean the end of my political interest or my commitment to this community and to the people of this great state," Kelly said in a Facebook post.

Kelly is currently vice chair of the Senate Health and Human Services committe.


When it comes to helping children with problems like anxiety, depression or substance abuse, a lot of people become part of the decision-making process. There's often  the local school district, primary care doctors, and community health workers -- and sometimes even the courts or DCYF. 

At times, a child can get lost in the middle. A bill this session aims to change that by making sure all the parties involved work together to reduce costs and improve outcomes for kids.

Welcome to opioid week in the U.S. House of Representatives.

That’s what House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has dubbed it. Members of Congress received word late last week, as they wrapped up their brief recess, that opiate-related legislation will go to the House floor this week. Details are still emerging; but this week promises to be a major step for the work of New England lawmakers on the issue.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte continues to stand by her statement that she’ll support -- but not endorse -- apparent Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

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

Leslie Duss via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/MWtfZ

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that would have made technical changes to tobacco tax laws, saying it exempts low-priced cigars from taxes.

Hassan says the bill expands the definition of "premium cigar" to include those that wholesale for less than $2.

In her veto message Friday, Hassan says as a matter of public health and fairness, she's proposed equal treatment for tobacco products during the last two budget cycles. But she says the bill moves in the opposite direction for cigars.