In State Senate District 2, it's Forrester vs. Lamb
CONCORD - Incumbent District 2 Republican Sen. Jeanie Forrester and Democratic challenger Bob Lamb disagree about the direction the state has taken the last two years, with one exception: They both are adamant opponents of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line.
Forrester was one of the architects of the bill that passed this year protecting private property rights, while Lamb says a new approach is needed to stop the project as it is proposed. Forrester, 54, of Meredith, owns an environmental technology business with her husband. She won the District 2 seat in the 2010 GOP landslide and is the only freshman senator serving on the powerful Senate Finance Committee.
"I felt that we did a good job and set priorities so the most vulnerable citizens were taken care of first," Forrester said. "We were faced with needs versus wants. We were responsible and had to make some tough choices."
Lamb, West Point graduate and former chief financial officer for FleetBoston, is critical of what went on in Concord the last two years when large Republican majorities in the House and Senate slashed spending to the state's colleges and hospitals while reducing some taxes. Republicans, he said, also focused on social issues such as gay marriage, abortion and other reproductive health issues, and gun rights. "Concord has not done what it needed to do to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs for our citizens," Lamb said, "and we need to have a conversation about that."
He was also critical of lawmakers' action on education, including significant reductions in state aid for higher education and a business tax credit to fund a private and religious school scholarship program. "This legislature attempted to destroy the public education in this state," he said. He also believes the state needs to take a close look at expanding Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, citing a study saying it will provide the state a net $1 billion over the next seven years.
"I see this as the only source of new money to pay for health care in our state," Lamb said. "It's a funded program and we need to take a serious look at this."
Forrester and other Republicans are urging caution against expanding Medicaid to cover more of the state's uninsured.
Lamb was critical of the current legislature for its attempts to limit women's health care options. No one should stand between a woman and her physician as she makes medical decisions for herself and her family, he said.
He said his priority in Concord will be to ensure the true creators of economic growth in New Hampshire - small businesses - receive the support they need to grow. "I will only support policies that foster a vibrant and diverse business climate and economy," Lamb said. "I will not support measures that attack public and private sector workers' rights to fair wages, benefits, and safe working conditions."
Lamb, 57, lives in Holderness with his wife, Maureen. He was born in Boston, and moved to New Hampshire in 2004.
Forrester has lived in New Hampshire for 25 years, moving here with her husband, who is from New Hampshire.
Forrester earned a bachelor's degree from UNH and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. She also served on the staff of Gov. John H. Sununu.