GOP senatorial hopefuls to square off over breakfastBy JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent
August 12. 2014 9:46PM
NORTH CONWAY — The three Republicans hoping to take on incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in November’s election will break bread and then will debate each other Thursday morning during an event sponsored by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council.
A representative of the MWVEC on Monday confirmed that Scott Brown, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith will attend the upcoming Eggs & Issues breakfast, which the economic council hosts monthly as a way to “stimulate entrepreneurship and networking among the business community...”
This month’s breakfast will again be held at the North Conway Grand Hotel. Tickets are $15 per person and reservations can be made by calling the MWVEC at 447-6622 or by email at Holly@mwvec.com.
Networking starts at 8:30 a.m. while the program is from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
The Eggs and Issues breakfast may be one of the last events attended by all three senatorial candidates prior to the Sept. 9 primary, which will determine which of them will face Shaheen in the Nov. 4 general election.
Brown, who in 2010 won a special election in Massachusetts to fill the balance of the late Edward Kennedy’s term in the U.S. Senate, but then lost re-election in 2012 to a full term, is the perceived front-runner against Shaheen.
Repeatedly stressing his ties to the Granite State — he was born at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard; his mother was a waitress at Hampton Beach and his dad an airman at Pease Air Force Base — Brown has owned a home in Rye for more than 20 years.
Nonetheless, Brown’s New Hampshire roots have been challenged by Smith, who represented New Hampshire’s First Congressional District from 1985 to 1990 and served in the U.S. Senate from 1990 to 2003.
Smith lost a Senate primary challenge in 2002 to John E. Sununu, who later won the general election, but who in a reelection bid in 2008 was defeated by Shaheen. After the 2002 elections, Smith moved to Florida where he made abortive runs for the Republican nomination in 2004 and 2010; he subsequently returned to New Hampshire and declared himself a candidate for the Senate.
Rubens is a former two-term member of the NH Senate, having been elected in 1994 and re-elected in 1996. He ran unsuccessfully for governor of New Hampshire in 1998 and for the state Senate in 2000.
A resident of Hanover, Rubens is a well-known opponent of expanded gambling who touts his experience as entrepreneur who started and operated more than a dozen businesses.