Politics

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

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Republican Chris Christie says New Hampshire voters should consider his experience and decisiveness as governor in choosing the next commander in chief. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Candidates have been able to file for the New Hampshire Primary ballot for the past three weeks. Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon, waited until the very last day.

For his supporters, the wait was worth it. Carson fans began gathering at a downtown Concord restaurant starting at 9 a.m.,only to be lead across the street to the State House in groups of 40. Carson himself wasn't scheduled to file until noon.

josh rogers/nhpr

John Kasich was blunt as he addressed the voters and several classes of local school children who packed into Hollis pharmacy. 

It may be hard for those of us in New Hampshire to believe -- but there's a whole other round of voting to come after our own presidential primary in February. And the outcome of that race will likely be shaped by factors impossible to predict at this point.

To help, the website FiveThirtyEight.com just published a guide to the seven major issues they believe will shape the 2016 White House race. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On the last day for candidates to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot, Vermin Supreme, known for campaigning with a massive boot on his head, made his third run for President official. This year, Supreme who is from Rockport, Massachusetts, is running as a Democrat. But his platform remains a bit out of the mainstream.

www.brookscullison.com

Almost all the big names have walked through the halls of the New Hampshire Statehouse, strolled into the Secretary of State's Office, and plunked down the $1,000 needed to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary.

  Only Republican Ben Carson is left to file, and he's set to take care of that on Friday, the last day to do so.

Kate Harper for NHPR

 

New Hampshire's largest public employee labor union is backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, bucking its national affiliate's endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

The State Employees' Association/SEIU Local 1984 represents 11,500 workers across New Hampshire. President Richard Gulla says the chapter is backing Sanders because of his support for maintaining retirement benefits, lowering college costs, better wages for workers and his willingness to take on Wall Street.

FILE

Both of New Hampshire’s Congressional representatives voted Thursday in favor of a bill to add extra screening steps for refugees resettling the United States from Syria and Iraq.

Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat, was one of 47 members of her party who sided with 242 Republicans to pass the bill.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

George Pataki’s polling average in New Hampshire is hovering under one percent, and he was shut out of the most recent "undercard" debate — but he’s not planning to bow out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination anytime soon.

josh rogers/nhpr

Jeb Bush says the federal government needs to allay public concern over refugee resettlement and chastised president Obama for “demonizing” people who disagree with him on refugee resettlement. 

Bush, who earlier said the U.S. should focus its efforts on resettling Christian refugees from the middle East,  now says resettlement of all refugees from Syria should pause until current policies could be strengthened.  

The superPAC backing Jeb Bush seemed to have everything it needed. It went into the primaries with the most money by far. Right to Rise USA had raised $103 million by June 30, with plenty of help from Bush before he officially announced his candidacy and could no longer legally ask for big contributions.

In September, Right to Rise put the money to work, announcing it would buy $24 million worth of TV ads in the first three nominating states: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

At every turn, this year's presidential campaign has proved conventional wisdom wrong. The aftermath of the Paris attacks might be another example.

As soon as the attacks were over, a chorus of (establishment) Republican voices predicted that the new focus on national security and terrorism would change the dynamic of the Republican race. This was the tipping point, they declared, that would finally usher out the outsiders leading the polls — Donald Trump and Ben Carson — in favor of more serious, experienced candidates.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Earlier this month, Dan Innis announced his candidacy for the congressional seat held by embattled Republican Frank Guinta. If he wins, Innis could become the nation’s first openly gay Republican elected to Congress.

Innis says for fellow New Hampshire Republicans, being gay hasn't been a problem. It’s his liberal and gay friends who have had the strongest reaction -- to his political affiliation. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Hassan’s stance on Syrian refugees aims to be calibrated.

Unlike some Governors, Hassan isn’t presuming to tell Washington New Hampshire won’t accept refugees.

And unlike others, she’s not accusing leaders who want to stop taking refugees of fear mongering.

Instead, Hassan is plotting, what, right now, is a lonely course: trying to explain, if not sell, something resembling a middle ground.

WBUR Poll: Trump Maintains Lead In New Hampshire

Nov 18, 2015

Less than three months before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, Donald Trump continues to maintain his lead over over the rest of the Republican presidential field in the state, according to a new poll commissioned by NPR member station WBUR.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers Wednesday overwhelmingly signed off on a joint task force charged with addressing the state’s opioid epidemic. The vote came in a special session of the Legislature.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

I don’t expect this will get me invited to many Manchester dinner parties or Sioux City porkfests. But here goes:

It’s time for Democrats to ditch Iowa and New Hampshire’s one-two punch at the front of the party’s presidential nominating calendar.

  John Kasich, the Ohio governor and Republican presidential hopeful, stopped by NHPR's offices in Concord recently for an interview with The Exchange.

On the way up to the studio,  we caught up with Kasich (and a few new friends) — asking him, specifically, for a quick pitch on why he should be president. Here's what he had to say.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Lawmakers will gather at the State House in Concord Wednesday for a special session devoted solely to tackling the issue of substance abuse.

The state saw a record number of drug overdoses last year – more than 300 – and opioid, heroin, and prescription drug abuse continues to plague communities across the Granite State.

To talk about the special session, Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem joined NHPR's Morning Edition.

Twitter

Concord attorney and Democratic activist Andru Volinsky  is running for the Executive Council.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

With all of the recent posturing at the State House, it might be easy to assume that Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republicans in the Legislature are having trouble finding common ground on how best to tackle substance abuse. But, as lawmakers gear up for a special session devoted to New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic, that’s not necessarily the case.

The towns in New Hampshire's White Mountains region have been must-stops on the campaign schedules of presidential candidates for decades. The region's sweeping views, quaint villages and history of resilience make it the ideal backdrop for those auditioning for the Oval Office. But what’s in it for the voters? And how engaged are they, away from the campaign stops and photo ops? NHPR's Natasha Haverty wanted to find out.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan is defending her call for the U.S. government to stop accepting refugees from Syria. 

Hassan is the only democratic among the 30 U.S governors opposing current U.S. policy on Syrian refugee resettlement.

She says calling for "a pause" in  Syrian refugee resettlement in light of the Paris attacks is consistent with she called the first job of government, protecting the people.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, Sen. Kelly Ayotte is among the political leaders here in the Granite State pushing back against President Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees.

"Well, we’re certainly a compassionate nation, but national security has to come first," Ayotte told NHPR's Morning Edition.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a statement, Governor Hassan said U.S. intelligence and defense officials need to assure that the process for vetting refugees is "as strong as possible."

Until that happens, says Hassan,  "the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria." 

Senator Kelly Ayotte also says no refugees should be allowed into the country until the government can "100 percent guarantee" they are not affiliated with the Islamic State.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last week we took a closer look at the most vigorous defender of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary: Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Over the past four decades, Gardner has met nearly every candidate to run for president. That access has provided him a fair share of stories -- so many stories, in fact, that we couldn't find room for even a fraction of them all.

Reuters / Vincent Kessler

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

The New Hampshire campaign trail has been mostly quiet since the Paris attacks.  Democrats were in Iowa for their weekend debate; Republicans have been mostly elsewhere since late last week. How much will Paris change things?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Rand Paul has spent plenty of time in New Hampshire over the past few years, and tried to build up some local political capital.

Political pundits are wondering if Donald Trump had a Howard Dean-like political meltdown moment last night, when, in a 95-minute speech in Iowa, the Republican presidential candidate cursed numerous times and asked “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” in reference to their support of Ben Carson.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Bernie Sanders’ party affiliation on the New Hampshire primary ballot is  being officially challenged. Sanders, who serves in the U.S. Senate as an independent, filed for the presidential primary as a Democrat last week. But now a New York lawyer, who also filed for president, is putting Sanders' status into question. 

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