MANCHESTER -- Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig’s campaign announced Thursday over 50 Republicans are supporting the lifelong Democrat in her bid for re-election to a second term.
The announcement came a day after Craig’s opponent, former Republican state lawmaker Victoria Sullivan, detailed plans to launch a digital campaign claiming her opponent deserves a “failing grade” on issues like crime, taxes, homelessness, the opioid crisis, and education.
The initial list of Craig endorsers released by her campaign includes 56 Manchester Republicans from all 12 wards, along with Republican business owners from surrounding communities.
“I’m grateful to have the support of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans from across the city,” said Craig in a statement. “In my first term, we’ve brought common sense problem-solving to City Hall, and that means bringing everyone to the table to get things done. Between improving our schools, bringing new businesses and high-paying jobs to Manchester, and taking a collaborative approach to combating the addiction epidemic, we’ve shown that meaningful progress happens by working together.”
“In her first term, Mayor Craig has done the hard work required to make our city stronger,” said Ward 2 resident Lucien Trudeau in a statement. “I have full faith that Mayor Craig will always put Manchester first, and in a second term will continue to be effective helping the city reach its full potential.”
“Mayor Craig is willing to set aside differences in order to get things done,” said Ward 3 resident Adele Baker in a statement. “She’s welcoming to diversity of ideas, cultures, and beliefs, and it is refreshing and inspiring to have a mayor like Joyce Craig who works in a collaborative and inclusive manner to accomplish great things for Manchester.”
The list of ‘Republicans for Joyce’ includes:
In a news release issued Wednesday afternoon, Sullivan’s campaign said Craig is failing to address the issue of crime in Manchester.
"Despite promising to address crime while running for mayor, Joyce Craig has failed to adequately do so since taking office,” said Sullivan in a statement. “She sought to downplay concerning spikes in crime in the media until she could no longer ignore the flood of negative headlines. That is not the leadership we need to find real solutions."
Sullivan said while her opponent was on the campaign trail in October 2017, Craig made several promises on how she would address crime.
"While talking with voters around our city, most believe we are headed in the wrong direction,” said Sullivan. “Manchester residents are fed up with the lack of leadership they have seen out of City Hall since Joyce Craig took office, especially on the important issue of crime. That must change.”
Sullivan said she hopes to formally unveil her plan to address crime later this week.
On Thursday Craig’s campaign responded to Sullivan’s release, saying the mayor is “committed to making Manchester’s neighborhoods safer.”
“Under Mayor Craig’s leadership and thanks to the hard working men and women of the Manchester Police Department, Manchester saw a 9% decrease in violent crime in her first year in office and overall crime is down 6% in 2019,” said Craig campaign manager McKenzie St. Germain. “Over the last two years, Manchester has increased police patrols across the city and has approved hiring 15 additional police officers. Public safety is a top priority for Mayor Craig and she will continue working with our police department and the community to ensure every Manchester resident and visitor to our city feels safe.”
The state Democratic Party (NHDP) also weighed in, releasing a series of “fact checks” they claim show Sullivan’s “egregious voting record” as a state representative, claiming she voted against support for law enforcement, against efforts to combat the opioid crisis, and against legislation to help make Manchester safer.
“In Concord, Victoria Sullivan consistently turned her back on the people of Manchester and voted to oppose common sense efforts to make the city safer,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley in a statement. “She likes to talk about what she’d do for the city she wants to run, but that's empty rhetoric, because she refused to back efforts to improve safety in Manchester when she had the chance. As mayor, Joyce Craig has been a champion for our law enforcement and has tackled issues like substance abuse and homelessness, while making the city a community where people can work and play.”
Michael Biundo, a Ward 8 resident and general consultant for Sullivan’s campaign, called it “shocking” how “delusional” Craig and state Democrats are regarding the “reality of the situation in Manchester.”
“Facts are facts and crime is spiking,” said Biundo in a statement. “Queen City residents are fed up with violent and property crimes consistently leading the headlines under Mayor Joyce Craig's failed leadership. They are sick of watching the homeless take over our downtown and our parks. As a Manchester resident myself, why Mayor Joyce Craig keeps trying to convince our citizens that all is well in the Queen City is baffling to me.”