#NHPolitics Weekly Ins and Outs — April 7, 2024

By Colin Booth

April 7, 2024

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 #NH02 Challengers Emerge — The race for the 2nd congressional district continued to change form this week, with major prospective candidates announcing they would not be running, previously rumored candidates dropping out, and new challengers rising from the ether.

Maggie Goodlander, a high-profile name in Washington D.C. and a political unknown to many in New Hampshire, has floated her name as a possible entrant in the race. Goodlander is a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the US Department of Justice and served as Counselor to Attorney General Merrick Garland. She is also the wife of President Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan. She reportedly lives outside the NH02 district in Portsmouth, a fact some Democratic strategists say could hurt her politically. Others dismiss those concerns.

Rumors are that State Reps. Laura Telerski and Angela Brennan are ending their bids, with further rumors swirling that Brennan could be running for Sen. Becky Whitley’s State Senate seat, when and if she fully commits to running for congress after announcing her exploratory committee for the seat this week.

Labor leaders Glenn Brackett of NH AFL-CIO and Rich Gulla of NH SEA-SEIU are also rumored to be considering bids, or being asked to consider them.

NH Dems Coordinated campaign grows, Trump campaign stalls — The coordinated campaign of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and the Biden-Harris campaign for President opened their 4th office this week in the battleground town of Laconia.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign in the state has not opened an office since their Manchester headquarters, which they opened before the January 23rd primary. A sign the well documented “cash crunch” is trickling down to the state level? Check out our reporting for more.

Executive Council Contested Primaries — Executive Council district 4 was a hot seat this week, with contested primary candidates, including Michael Strand, a town councilor in Bedford, who is running in a primary against Jim O’Connell, Manchester School Board Vice Chair, who just recently announced his candidacy.

Former State Senator Kevin Cavanaugh is rumored to be mulling a bid as well.

 

Who’s Out!

Unspeakable Horrors — The unfolding political scandal around Rep. Jon Stone, kicked off by a long-investigated report by InDepthNH, is truly just beginning. With threats of murder, rape, mass shootings against police officers and an “inappropriate relationship” with a minor, this is a politcal scandal with all the trimmings.

All eyes will be on Republican House Speaker Sherm Packard on Monday to see what, if any action, he takes against Rep. Stone on Monday. He’s been credibly accused of covering up criminality by another House member just recently, with the scandal around former State Rep. Troy Merner and turned a blind eye to Rep. Laurie Sanborn despite a criminal investigation into the alleged illegal use of $844,000 in pandemic assistance toward her and her husband’s casino.

Kelly Ayotte’s Very Bad Week — Ayotte started the week reeling from being called out by multiple New England reporters for lying about immigration issues in Massachusetts on social media. She ended it with silence around her political ally, Rep. Jon Stone.

As of Sunday Ayotte still touts Rep. Stone as an endorser on her website.

Right to Work (for less) — This week, State Senate Dems managed to table deeply unpopular anti-union legislation SB 516-FN, this legislative session’s Senate version of “Right-to-Work” legislation.

New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett put out a statement after the vote celebrating the bill’s demise, saying “Today’s vote to table SB 516-FN shows that the people of New Hampshire, and the majority of the members of the New Hampshire Legislature, know what we know, that ‘Right-to-Work’ will ALWAYS be wrong for New Hampshire.”

Alan Raff, state director at the New Hampshire Unity Labor Table posted a meme celebrating over the grave of both the House and Senate Right-to-Work bills, taking a victory lap on the downfall of the unpopular legislation.

Bobby Burns & Ryan Terrell — Bob Burns, the Trump-loyalist who crashed and burned in the NH02 congressional race in 2022, dropped out of the 2024 congressional race before he was officially in, citing concerns over his own fundraising ability.

He’ll be jumping into the race for the Executive Council 2nd District following the announcement by Councilor Ted Gatsas that he’ll be retiring.

Also jumping in is NH GOP Vice Chair Ryan Terrell, who was a highly-visible figure in the NH Department of Education’s successful efforts to bring PragerU lessons to New Hampshire students. As well as having some strong opinions about Democrats on social media.

Please Don’t Call Us Transphobes — In the midst of passing some of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the nation on Friday, State Senate President Jeb Bradley made an extraordinary plea, “Please don’t label people who are trying to protect our daughters and granddaughters as transphobic.”

This after Sen. Bradley and Republicans in the senate passed some of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the Northeast on Friday, passing bills banning New Hampshire trans girls from participating in school sports and forcing teachers to out students to their parents.

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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