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Sullivan didn't vote in 2016 primary but backed Clinton

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 06. 2018 11:36PM
Chris Pappas, left, shakes hands with Maura Sullivan, right, as Paul Cardinal, center, looks on after a debate for Democratic hopefuls in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District at the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

MANCHESTER — The campaign of Democratic congressional candidate Maura Sullivan of Portsmouth said she supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential primary race but did not vote because she lived in the District of Columbia that had the final primary contest in June 2016.

“Maura didn’t vote in the primary but supported Hillary Clinton — when the stakes were high in the general election, she left her job at the Pentagon to knock on doors in New Hampshire for Hillary Clinton,” said campaign manager Whitney Larsen. “She understood the national security threat posed by Donald Trump. And like millions of others, Maura was devastated when Hillary lost — it was a formative moment for her and for this country.”

The campaign of chief primary rival and Executive Councilor Chris Pappas of Manchester said Sullivan’s dodge is indicative of someone who just moved to New Hampshire less than two years ago while toying with the idea of running for Congress in at least two other states.

“Maura Sullivan is asking primary voters to cast their ballots for her when she couldn’t be bothered to vote in the high-stakes 2016 presidential primary,” said Chris Pappas for Congress campaign manager Kari Thurman. “New Hampshire voters have been vetting Chris Pappas for years, but with 5 days to go until the New Hampshire primary, we’re still learning troubling new things about Maura Sullivan. In the most important midterm election of our lives, we should nominate someone who has always stood with us and who we can trust. That person is Chris Pappas.”

During their only televised debate on WMUR-TV Wednesday night, Sullivan was the only one of the 11 candidates on stage at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics who did not reveal who she supported during the presidential primary.

Most of the other hopefuls said they were with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won overwhelmingly the New Hampshire primary before losing the nomination to Clinton.

Pappas confirmed he supported Clinton as did the high-profile New Hampshire Democrats now backing his campaign, including Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen.

Sullivan was working for the Pentagon at the time of the D.C. primary in which Clinton routed Sanders getting 78 percent of the vote.

During a conference call Thursday, Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock said Sullivan was a tireless defender of women’s reproductive rights while working in the Obama administration.

“The stakes could not be higher,” Schriock said. “We know Maura Sullivan absolutely has what it takes to hold onto the seat and deliver fresh service to the people of the 1st Congressional District.”

Pappas will host a Get Out the Vote Rally tonight at his Puritan’s Restaurant Backroom Conference Center in Manchester starting at 8 p.m.

The event marks 10 months for Pappas on the campaign trail.

Former Obama Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will campaign with Maura Sullivan Friday with multiple stops on the Seacoast starting with a coffee with local veterans and a tour of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.


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