Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s itinerary  -- meetings with core Republican activists, stops at colleges, and a speech at an event celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps – was very much that of a candidate. 

In his remarks at the Marine event, Perry cited Russia, Iran, and ISIS, as reasons why the U.S. cannot afford a foreign policy, that is, as he put it, “lacking in clarity.” 

Courtney Cania / NHPR

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says he's ruling out another run for the White House in 2016.

Huntsman told reporters in Salt Lake City on Wednesday that he was replying with a "strong no" when asked if he would enter the upcoming presidential race.

Huntsman briefly ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Earlier this year, Huntsman said he was open to another bid, but he later told the Deseret News he had no plans for a campaign.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The same day he was arraigned on abuse of power charges, Texas Governor Rick Perry kicked off a two-day visit to New Hampshire, fueling speculation about another presidential bid.

Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in Manchester on Friday, Governor Rick Perry didn’t shy away from the indictment handed down last week.

“This indictment isn’t about me. This is a lot bigger than me. It’s about the state system of constitutional checks and balances. We’ll prevail.”

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The leading candidates for U.S. Senate met for debates Thursday in North Conway.

The debate, hosted by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council, ranged from Obamacare to medical marijuana, from the Veteran's Affairs to the National Security Agency. And with the increasing instability in the Middle East the candidates spent plenty of time airing their views on the situation in Iraq.

The University of New Hampshire is opening up its class on the state's leadoff presidential primary to a wider audience through a Massive Open Online Course.  The course will be offered in the fall of 2015 and will build on a popular class the university has offered for the last several election cycles. Those participating from afar will be able to watch lectures and presentations from classroom guests and join in on discussions.  They won't earn college credit, and the university is still deciding how much they will be charged.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is giving a talk on leadership at the University of New Hampshire law school.

Giuliani, who served as mayor from 1994 to 2011, will deliver a presentation called "Leadership in the 21st Century" on Tuesday in Concord.

Afterward, Concord Mayor Jim Bouley will present Giuliani with a key to the city.

In the North Country Millsfield wants to regain a spot it held six decades ago: Being the first place to vote in the presidential election.

That goes back to just after midnight in November 1952 when the seven voters of Millsfield, which straddles Route 26 between Errol and the Dixville, cast the first votes in the presidential election, according to Time magazine article.

Jimmy Wayne via Flickr CC

Utah lawmakers have advanced a bill that would move the state’s presidential primary ahead of New Hampshire’s.

Legislation approved by the House Monday gives lawmakers the option of holding an online election, provided it is “held before any other caucus, primary, or other event selecting a nominee in the nation.”

If approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, the bill, HB 410, would require the state to fund the Western State Primary, at an estimated cost of $1.6 million.

February 28th marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire presidential primary. The ’84 election is often overlooked today – mostly because the general election saw Republican President Ronald Reagan beat Democrat Walter Mondale in a landslide - and yet, the 1984 primary was fairly influential.

Today marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire primary. It’s a contest not well remembered today – on the Republican side, President Ronald Reagan was running essentially unopposed, and the man who won the Democratic nomination, Walter Mondale, not only lost the New Hampshire primary, he lost the general election in a landslide.

Sara Plourde

Characterized by partisan gridlock, grandstanding and an unwillingness to compromise, the 113th Congress is well on its way to becoming the least productive legislature in American history. Elected officials increasingly hail from the ideological fringes of their respective parties, leaving little room for moderation, dialogue or consensus around even routine issues.  The march to the partisan battlelines -- some argue -- starts long before a candidate is sworn in. It begins during the primary, when extreme views draw audiences and media attention away from the moderate middle. Today, we’re prodding one of New Hampshire’s sacred cows by asking whether it’s time to dramatically reforming the way we do primaries.

Aaron Web via Flickr Creative Commons

Here's what you had to say:

"I'd feel like we'd become more insignificant than we already are."

"Wouldn't bother me at all."

"It would be a real blow to the economy and to the ego of the state... I think the nation would lose out if we didn't have the presidential primary anymore.

"[I would feel] less stressed."

"I'm not really into politics.  I probably wouldn't care."

From the early days of the 2012 primary, influential liberals referred to Jon Hunstman, U.S. Ambassador to China, and Singapore before that, as “the sane Republican”.  Huntsman’s foreign policy chops and statesmen-like manner were frequently cited during his brief run, often by the candidate himself.  

Bing Judd, who has been a Coos County Commissioner since 1997, has lost his seat by five votes.

Judd had 592 votes compared to 597 for challenger Rick Samson, deputy secretary of state David Scanlon told NHPR Thursday afternoon.

Late Thursday Judd said he will be driving to Concord Friday to file a request for a recount.

"Five votes in 1,200, there could be a mistake," he said.  "It could go either way."

That recount is expected to occur Monday.

Judd had not faced a challenge for more than a decade.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley – a Berlin native – took Coos County with 1,226 votes, according to figures just released by the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

That compared to 1,087 for Maggie Hassan and 187 for Bill Kennedy.

But, of course, Hassan won statewide with 45,143 compared to Cilley’s 33,073. Kennedy had 6,001.

Some of the totals from Coos are below. The full list can be found here.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Ovid Lamontagne dominated the Republican primary in Coos County Tuesday.

Lamontagne routinely pulled at least 50 percent – and in some cases 80 percent or more - of the vote in town after town.

In Berlin Lamontagne took 81 percent of the vote; 72 percent in Lancaster; 57 percent in Colebrook and 70 percent in Whitefield.

Meanwhile, Republican incumbents Larry Rappaport and Duffy Daugherty of Colebrook have apparently held off challenger Charles Kurtz of Errol.

A handful of state senate races proved competitive in Tuesday’s primary.

It’s difficult to see a trend in the statewide legislative results says political analyst Dean Spiliotis.

There clearly are some races in which the tea party energy and conservatives seem to be winning out, but there also a number of races that we’re seeing in which more moderate incumbents are staying in through the primary.

Colin Van Ostern won the Democratic nomination for the District 2 chair on the Executive Council.  The district includes the Concord area, and stretches from Vermont to the coast.
He beat opponent John Shea, who held a seat on the Council from 2006 to 2010.

Van Ostern says the Council’s decision last June to cut funding to Planned Parenthood spurred him to run.  But he made his campaign about the economy.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Perhaps the biggest surprise of last night was not that Democrat Jackie Cilley lost to her rival Maggie, Hassan, but by how big a margin. What was supposed to be a close race turned out to be a run-away.

This primary season the question has been: will democrats elect a candidate who hasn’t pledged to veto an income or sales tax? From the outset, Cilley has made not taking such a pledge the centerpiece of her campaign.

But with the very first poll returns it was clear that Cilley was in for a rough night. Later she took the podium to concede the race.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

If Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jackie Cilley thought being a Berlin native would give her a crucial edge in the North Country she was wrong.

Cilley did win in Berlin but her 546 votes were only 56 percent of the total.

Down the road in neighboring Gorham she snared 55 percent of the votes.

But it was downhill from there despite spending five consecutive days touring the North Country from Littleton to Colebrook and Pittsburg and then over to Berlin and the communities along the Androscoggin River.

In Littleton she got only 35 percent of the vote.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

With 94 of 112 precincts reporting veteran Executive Councilor Ray Burton of Bath has about 71 percent of the votes, easily rebuffing challenger Jerry Thibodeau of Rumney.

Burton had almost 14,500 votes compared to about 5,800 for Thibodeau.

Burton effortlessly put down a revolt by some Republican representatives in the North Country who thought he was too moderate and urged his defeat.

In November Burton will face Democrat Beth Funicella.

Jonathan Lynch / New Hampshire Public Radio

"My name is Ovide Lamontagne, the toughest name in politics. But tonight you made it a winning name."

To shouts of "Ovide," Lamontagne has accepted Kevin Smith's concession and the Republican nomination for gubernatorial candidate.

The crowd is psyched up, standing shoulder to shoulder in the hall. When asked if it's the New Hampshire way to increase spending by double digits, the crowd shouts back a resounding "No!"

Chris Jensen for NHPR

With most of the voting day over some North Country election officials are figuring it won’t take long to count votes tonight.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

John Miller, the deputy moderator for the town of Bethlehem, says it has been a typical primary election for local candidates.

“The turnout so far has been very, very low.”

By about 4:30 roughly 250 of the 1600 or so registered voters in this Northern Grafton town had voted, Miller said.

He figured there were slightly more Republicans than Democrats voting.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

As voting in today's primary gets underway NHPR's Chris Jensen visits a polling place in Coos County.

Sound of voters being registered..

While state officials are predicting a somewhat light turnout for the primary there are folks who say there is no such thing as an unimportant election.

One of those is 93-year-old Fay Allin who slowly but steadily made her way through town hall in Lancaster Tuesday morning, slipped into the voting booth and emerged a few minutes later.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

If you haven’t heard that Republican congressmen Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta are facing primary challenges, you’re far from alone.  At least, that’s according to a recent Granite State Poll. 

Representative Frank Guinta faces one challenger, while fellow Republican Charlie Bass has four people vying for his slot on the November ballot.  But University of New Hampshire pollster Andy Smith says more than nine out of ten constituents have no idea who these would-be contenders are.

Assessing the Presidential Selection Process

Apr 26, 2012

After a long campaign season of caucuses and primaries, attack ads, and Super PACs, many have noticed significant changes.  This year, we've seen many more debates, an explosion in the use of digital media, and a decline of retail politics.  Is this a troubling trend or the new reality for  choosing  a President?


Historically, young people have been much less likely to vote than older Americans.

That trend has started to change in the past few presidential election cycles, especially in 2008, when a census report found that 49 percent of those ages 18 to 24 who were eligible to vote participated in the presidential election.

The GOP candidates for president have seized on high gas prices as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling.

But GOP front-runner Mitt Romney used to have a position seemingly at odds — at least in emphasis — with what he and the other Republicans are now advocating.

As Massachusetts governor, Romney said high gasoline prices "are probably here to stay," and he advocated policies to cut energy demand.

One of the defining elements of the 2012 presidential campaign is money. Not that the candidates themselves have raised all that much; except for President Obama, they haven't. But two dozen wealthy Americans have put in at least $1 million each.

Mostly, they're a mix of Wall Street financiers and entrepreneurs. One of the biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is worth about $25 billion.