#NHPolitics Ins and Outs — June 16, 2024

#NHPolitics Ins and Outs — June 16, 2024

By Colin Booth

June 16, 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?

Jim Clyburn — The collective eyes of the political world once again fell on New Hampshire this Friday when Politico Playbook reported, in a lengthy interview with South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, that he would be not be defending the DNC’s stated opinion his state should go first in the presidential nominating calendar going forward.

“I never asked for South Carolina to be first in the nation,” Clyburn told Politico, and when asked if he would fight to keep it first in 2028, he replied “No,” to a stunned Ryan Lizza.

Check out his interview with Politico Deep Dive for the full conversation.

Mistakes in Strafford County — Democrats were understandably quite angry when Republicans put forward a potentially illegal redistricting in Strafford County outside of the regular redistricting process in an attempt to gain more control among the county commission seats there. Angry enough they are suing as a result.

But it seems in Republican’s haste to pass the 2023 law that created new, Republican friendly, districts in the county they neglected to include language disallowing individuals from outside the new districts to run in the new districts, which is just what three-term at-large commissioner Deanna S. Rollo did when she filed to run in District Three, while living in District Two.

“They gave me a little bit of a hard time,” Rollo said of getting on the ballot, which required an appeal to the Secretary of State through an attorney. NH Secretary of State David Scanlan says while an appeal is likely, right now Rollo is set to appear on the ballot in the new district.

When the Moon Hits Your Eye — Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, husband to Vice President Kamala Harris, did a major swing through New Hampshire on Friday, the latest in a long line of major Biden administration figures to visit the state. He stopped by Durham House of Pizza and got a little pizza making lesson from the owners before participating in a round table with the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation. Check out our video for more and look for an expanded story on his trip this week.

Who’s Out!

Republican Education Agenda in Shambles — NH House Republicans delivered a mercy killing to a massive expansion of the state’s school voucher program, so-called “education freedom accounts” with the House voting not to move forward with the expansion.

And the Republican finger pointed started almost immediately.

NH GOP contractor Chris Maidment called out Republicans who voted against the expansion by name, saying they “immediately need a primary” while Assistant House Majority Leader Emily Phillips, staging a Republican House-leadership backed challenge to oust sitting State Senator Bill Gannon said the bill only failed because the State Senate didn’t agree to increase the expansion even further. Check out our reporting for more.

Charlie Brown’s Green Football — The pragmatic political observers of New Hampshire politics prevailed once again in predicting legal recreational use cannabis would not pass once again this year, between goalpost-shifting by Governor Chris Sununu and disagreement between the House and Senate, the issue now becomes a leading topic in the 2024 governor’s race with a binary choice between Republican and Democratic candidates on where each stands. Check out the Boston Globe’s coverage for more on how this went down.

Joe Kelly Levasseur — If the crowded field for the first congressional district wasn’t mid enough, the sometimes called “shadow mayor” of Manchester Joe Kelly Levasseur joined former state senator and Executive Councilor Russell Prescott of Kingston, businesswoman Hollie Noveletsky and Chris Bright as a candidate to attempt to unseat popular three-term Congressman Chris Pappas.

Democrats have been gleeful with the idea of Levasseur running, believing he has a strong chance to clear the primary and no chance to win the general election, largely due to a long line of reputationally damaging moves over a long career at a level of politics that has been low enough to avoid major attention. 

“He’s cartoonishly evil” said one Manchester Democrat I spoke to. “The single most unethical human being I have ever met” said one 2021 article on Levasseur. “He’s human swill.” said one activist on social media. Look forward to more on this contest as the primary heats up.


  • 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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