#NHPolitics Weekly Ins and Outs — March 31, 2024

By Colin Booth

March 31, 2024

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! Another week of #NHPolitics Ins and Outs, taking you on a tour of the ins and outs of the ever-changing world of New Hampshire Politics, keeping score of the winners and losers week-by-week — and letting you know who’s in and who’s out.

Let’s get into it.

Who’s In?

New Hampshire’s Entire 2nd Congressional District — This week’s shock announcement that Congresswoman Annie Kuster would not be running for reelection awoke the ambitions of many across the Dem-friendly district, including former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, who announced his candidacy for the seat on Thursday. Seems like he was the only one who got a heads up on what was happening.

Check our comprehensive list of serious contenders that party leaders and influential Dems are talking about this week.

Wins for Fun and Safety —  This week two Democratic State Reps won a pair of high-profile wins in the House, getting their bills sent off to the State Senate.

State Rep. Jess Grill passed her first bill, House Bill 1227, that would extend the default time for bars and restaurants to stop serving alcohol from 1 to 2 a.m., with the aim of helping state businesses and creating an environment more welcoming to young Granite Staters. Best of all, she did it on her 29th birthday.

Meanwhile State Rep. Angela Brennan, who was floated on the NH02 short list this week, managed to pass HB 1596, a bill that regulates AI generated deepfakes during election season, and would prevent the kind of nasty misinformation seen during the primary this year.

The bill passed on a loud bipartisan voice vote despite running into staunch political opposition, coming out of committee without a recommendation, so the passage constitutes a significant victory for Brennan and election integrity in the state.

We’ve Got a Tier 1 Guest Incoming — The New Hampshire Democratic Party announced this week Minnesota governor and chairman of the Democratic Governors Association Tim Walz would be the keynote speaker at the 2024 McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner, one of their top fundraising events of the year.

The speech and role is an important one and has been used as a weather vane for priorities and influence of the state party and guest alike. The choice of governor Walz is a clear indicator that the DGA is working in lockstep with the party in the upcoming governor’s race here, and that Walz may have greater political ambitions of his own in coming years.

Who’s Out!

“I think they might be hacked?” — The NH GOP’s twitter account turned heads this week for a number of highly unusual and offensive posts that had Democrats scratching their heads wondering what the hell is going on over there.

First they went after Democrats running for Governor for supporting groups like “Ukrainians” and “Palestinians” who are not typically associated as overt enemies of the Republican Party. 

Then things got really weird.

Without comment, the NH GOP posted a video of a speech by Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington discussing the practical advantages immigration has on the state of New Hampshire overlaid with menacing images of people of color, creating a strikingly racist piece of messaging, even among modern conservative standards

This, along with a baffling change of their party’s logo on social media lead to at least one senior political strategist in the state texting this reporter during the week, saying, “Something is going on with NH GOP… are tweeting things that are just a bit off… I think they might be hacked?”

Subpoena Power for the Education Commish — During a session of the House this week, Republican State Reps Bob Lynn & Katelyn tried… and failed to pass a floor amendment to allow New Hampshire Education Secretary Frank Edelblut to have vast subpoena powers over teachers. Powers many are concerned the commissioner would use to engage in McCarthy-like investigations over educators’ political beliefs.

House Dems were able to block the amendment.

NH Ayotte Advisor Calls for Soldiers At Polling Places — National press secretary for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, failed New Hampshire congressional candidate, and top advisor to Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte, Karoline Leavitt said in an interview on Monday that the Trump campaign would send “soldiers” to polling places in the 2024 election to ensure “there are no irregularities and fraud like we saw in the last election cycle.”

Check out our reporting on this scary plan by top Trump staff.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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