September 19. 2015 8:43PM

Former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter to run in 1st District election

Staff Report

MANCHESTER — “I'm in, are you?”

If there was any doubt, former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter put it to rest Saturday. She announced at the Democrats' state convention that she is running again in the 1st District.

The three-term Democrat from Rochester previously said she would run in a special election if embattled Republican incumbent Frank Guinta resigned after his campaign finance scandal.

She later filed the requisite statement of candidacy paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.

“I kept my promise because I know that public office is a public trust, and we must never forget that,” Shea-Porter said.

Shea-Porter said she remains a populist. She cited her father, a Republican, who would say to her, “‘Our purpose in life is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the too comfortable,' and that's what we need to do. We need to bring fairness and opportunity to all Americans — that's our Democratic agenda.”

Shea-Porter will have a primary. Shawn O'Connor, a businessman from Bedford, has declared his candidacy for the 1st District.

In his remarks to the state convention, O'Connor said he would work to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, oppose new natural gas pipelines in New Hampshire, and raise the minimum wage. As an openly gay candidate, he said he would work to provide civil rights protections for the gay, lesbian and transgendered community.

He also embraced a populist message, citing the financial reform spirit of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

“Elizabeth Warren was a professor of mine,” he said. “I will be the Elizabeth Warren in the House of Representatives.” Guinta, who defeated Shea-Porter in 2014 in their third general election match-up, has said he intends to run for re-election. His fundraising took a big hit in the second quarter, after the Federal Elections Commission concluded Guinta accepted $355,000 in illegal excessive campaign contributions in 2010, with the money coming from his parents' bank account. He continues to insist it was an oversight, and that he had equity interest in the private account: the FEC did not find his arguments persuasive. Guinta was fined $15,000, which he has paid, and he was ordered to return the $355,000 to his parents' account.