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Dan Tuohy has covered politics in the Granite State since 1993 and has reported from the Statehouse. A New Hampshire native, Tuohy is a past president of the New Hampshire Press Association.
August 05. 2014 12:33PM

Granite Status: Democrats eye a state senate write-in

Democrats could field a candidate for state Senate District 16 via a write-in campaign.

Dan O'Neil, chairman of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen, announced Monday that the "Draft Maureen Raiche Manning for Senate Committee" is recruiting supporters to urge her to run as a write-in in the state primary Sept. 9.

O’Neil is the committee chairman. Mike Roche of Hooksett is treasurer.

Raiche Manning, a lifelong Manchester resident, is an attorney with Manning & Zimmerman. At 19, she served six years as a state representative, and remains the youngest woman elected to a seat in the state Legislature.

O’Neil identified two dozen supporters recruited so far across District 16. They include former U.S. Rep. Dick Swett and Katrina Swett of Bow, state Rep. Mary Beth Walz of Bow, Bow Selectman Harry Judd, Dunbarton Democratic Town Chairman Brad Asbury, Hooksett Democratic Town Chairman Bob Ehlers, state Rep. Bob Backus of Manchester, and former Ward 12 alderman and Manchester mayoral candidate Patrick Arnold.

"I believe Maureen would be an excellent candidate for the State Senate," O’Neil said in a press release. "She will keep our economy moving forward, fight tirelessly to expand opportunity for middle class families, and solve problems by bringing people together."

District 16 State Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, is running for re-election. He has a primary challenger in Jane Cormier of Hooksett.

The district covers Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and wards 1, 2 and 12 in Manchester.

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(The July 31 column follows below)

Two possible presidential prospects, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, made headlines this week, but they made every effort to redirect voter attention to 2014. As Perry said in a call with New Hampshire reporters about immigration, “2016 will take care of itself.”

Christie is back in the Granite State on Thursday to campaign for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein and then help the Republican State Committee raise cash during an event at a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game.

Christie’s visit inspired the Judicial Crisis Network to buy ads on WMUR-TV, radio and online to accuse him of appointing liberal, activist judges.

Voter attention is in short supply, according to the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Its poll a week ago found politics trailing family finances, the economy and health care when people were asked to name the most common topic discussed at home. None of this is surprising to political observers in late July, which is why you see campaign schedules peppered with a few unconventional events.

A “Confederate Railroad Freedom Concert” at the Rochester Fairgrounds on Aug. 29 will benefit U.S. Senate Republican candidate Bob Smith. Republican rival Jim Rubens has hit farmers markets, barbecues and a balloon festival. And Christie is not the only one heading to the ballpark. Scott Brown sent an email blast last week asking people to donate to his Senate campaign for a chance to join him at Fenway Park Aug. 3 to watch the Red Sox play the Yankees.

“I will even buy the winner a hot dog and a beverage,” Brown says in the pitch.

The Bob Smith concert in Rochester is also a fundraiser, with $20 admission, which includes the country music entertainment, food and fireworks. It’s billed as an event for “liberty-loving folks.”

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Rubens won the backing of the Mayday PAC, adding to previous support from the New Hampshire PAC to Save America. In an interview, Rubens said the financial resources and staffing show he has a competitive campaign. He said he is offering something distinct from his rivals.

“I’m offering principled, thoughtful statesmanship,” Rubens said.

That Mayday PAC seeks to reform how campaigns are funded. It supports Rubens for his pledge to fight for greater campaign transparency. The PAC knocks Brown for having “embraced special interest funding.”

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Gov. Maggie Hassan’s veto of the Juvenile Justice Reform bill isn’t sitting well with some lawmakers. State Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, and Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, said legislators should override the veto.

“The governor wants to replace the hard work of the Legislature with an executive order, and paper over the structural problems in New Hampshire’s juvenile justice system,” Carson said in a statement.

Boutin said the bill passed with broad bipartisan support and would deliver more accountability to the system.In her veto message, Hassan wrote, in part, “The original legislation was well intentioned; however, a last-minute decision in conference committee resulted in a bill that I cannot support. As passed, Senate Bill 391 fundamentally shifts New Hampshire juvenile justice policy in a direction that could too strongly emphasize incarceration. This shift raises serious concerns and merits significant public debate and discussion, which unfortunately the final version of this bill did not receive.”

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Candidates have a new pledge to sign, or not sign, courtesy of Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire. Its 2014 pledge features five pillars: 1) cut taxes and fees, and oppose any tax increase; 2) cut spending and the size of government; 3) pass a right-to-work law in the state; 4) oppose all forms of Obamacare, including Medicaid expansion; and 5) uphold the New Hampshire Constitution and U.S. Constitution.

AFP-NH says it sent the pledge to Democrats and Republicans who filed candidate papers with the Secretary of State.

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Former Ambassador John Bolton endorsed Brown for U.S. Senate, and his PAC is giving Brown $10,000. The John Bolton Super PAC is running a $30,000 ad buy targeting U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-NH.

Former Gov. Craig Benson endorsed former Congressman Frank Guinta in his GOP primary in the 1st Congressional District.

Former Congressman Charlie Bass threw his support to Scott Brown. And a whole lot of veterans expressed support for Republicans running for Senate. A couple were on more than one list. Frank R. Emiro, an Army veteran and former state representative from Londonderry, initially showed up on Brown’s coalition of veterans. He says he is supporting Jim Rubens. Emiro demanded a retraction (his name is no longer on the list on Brown’s website).

Rubens announced a veterans steering committee this week. Emiro is on that list. So, too, is Ray Hayes of Milford. The Brown campaign says Hayes is one of their supporters. Haynes responded by asking Rubens to correct his list.

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The Senate Select Committee on Ethics is being asked to look into social media matters. Edward C. Mosca asked the committee to initiate a preliminary inquiry into whether Judy Reardon, counsel to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, was using “public resources for campaign purposes.” Mosca (@RealEdMosca) alleges Reardon’s use of Twitter this spring and summer amounted to politicking. Several of the Tweets by @JudyReardon in his exhibit are critical of @SenScottBrown. Even @unionleader gets a shout-out.

Dan Tuohy is covering politics and government for the Union Leader and Sunday News. Email news and information to dtuohy@unionleader.com.


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