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O'Connor quits Democratic Party, to run as independent

By DAN TUOHY
New Hampshire Union Leader

June 09. 2016 1:36PM

Shawn O'Connor 

Congressional hopeful Shawn O’Connor announced Thursday he will quit the Democratic Party and run for the 1st District as an independent.

O’Connor, a businessman from Bedford, has been at loggerheads with the New Hampshire Democratic Party for more than two months, and threatened to sue the party. He’s alleged that former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, a Democrat from Rochester, engaged in a “whisper campaign” alleging he was a “perpetrator of domestic violence,” rather than a victim, as he has said on the campaign trail and in press statements.

Shea-Porter, who is filing for the Democratic nomination today at the State House, dismissed O’Connor’s claims. Her spokeswoman called O’Connor’s claims “just a sad, untruthful, and desperate attack. Nothing more needs to be said.”

O’Connor tweeted Thursday, “Independence from party politics has arrived in NH! Let’s join VT & ME & send an Independent to DC.”

He also wrote that he would file his declaration of candidacy with the Secretary of State’s Office Friday at 4 p.m.

His running as an independent leaves the Democratic Party field with one well-known candidate, Shea-Porter. William C. Martin of Londonderry filed for the Democratic nomination in the 1st District on Monday.

U.S. Rep. Frank C. Guinta, R-NH, has Rich Ashooh of Bedford as a main rival for the GOP nomination. Three other candidates filed papers to run in the GOP primary on Sept. 13: Michael Callis of Conway, Jamieson Hale Gradert of Hampstead, and Robert Risley of Sanbornton.

As an independent candidate, O’Connor would not be on a ballot on Sept. 13, but for the Nov. 8 general election. His declaration of intent, similar for Democrats and Republicans, must be filed between June 1-10 at the Secretary of State’s Office. He must pay a $50 administrative fee and collect 1,500 signatures from the 1st Congressional District. 

dtuohy@unionleader.com


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