Loudon farmer Pearl to challenge again for District 17 state Senate seatBy JOHN DiSTASO
Senior Political Reporter
February 20. 2014 2:08PM
LOUDON – Prompted in part by his opposition to the bipartisan health insurance expansion plan, aka Medicaid expansion, currently before lawmakers, Loudon farmer Howard Pearl is making a second run at the District 17 state Senate seat held by fellow Republican John Reagan.
Reagan is uncertain if he will run for reelection or whether he will instead run for governor. But Pearl, owner of Pearl and Sons Farm on Loudon Ridge, has already told friends he will run and has set up a campaign web site. He said he will make formal announcement in the coming weeks.
Pearl told UnionLeader.com that the vote by the Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee on Wednesday backing the "Medicaid expansion" plan supported by Senate President Chuck Morse, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Reagan and others, "is disappointing for District 17 and the entire state. It has never been clearer: Republicans need a senator from District 17 who is in line with the values of the Republican Party."
Pearl said, "In one day, the current state senator (Reagan) voted to expand Obamacare and then for a bill that directly violates our first amendment rights," referring to a bill that creates a 25-foot buffer zone around entrances to clinics where abortions are performed. Reagan voted for that bill in a final Senate vote after voting against it in an earlier vote.
"If elected to the state Senate, I will be a passionate supporter of less government, low taxes, the right to life and the protection of our constitution rights -- like the first and second amendments, which are being trampled every day by big government politicians."
Pearl lost to Reagan in the state Senate primary two years ago by about 100 votes.
He is a member of the Merrimack County Republican Committee and has long been active in fund-raising and promoting Republicans.