Another Democratic presidential candidate will enter the race right after Easter and just before his next appearance in New Hampshire.
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., will become the 19th candidate to seek the Democratic nomination and the second major candidate from the Bay State, joining U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., according to multiple sources.
The 40-year-old Iraq War veteran will surely focus more on national security and services to veterans than many of those already in the race.
Moulton formed a Super PAC in 2018 that led to a surging number of Democratic candidates running for major office, including Maura Sullivan of Portsmouth. She finished runner-up to Chris Pappas in the 1st Congressional District primary.
Moulton made a pair of appearances on Sullivan’s behalf during that campaign.
Axios first reported Wednesday that Moulton was seen filming his campaign advertisement in Marblehead, Mass.
The decision is expected to drop on Monday.
Then on Wednesday he arrives as the latest speaker in the Politics & Eggs Forum at the Bedford Village Inn. This event begins at 7:30 a.m.
A Marine veteran, he served four tours in Iraq.
For months Moulton has been weighing the bid, often meeting with veterans and Democratic activists in early states, including this one.
Booker’s campaign boss takes NH pulse
Addisu Demissie, campaign manager for Democrat Cory Booker’s presidential campaign, spent two days in New Hampshire earlier this week after his candidate had a campaign kickoff in Booker’s Newark, N.J., hometown.
Demissie had managed Gavin Newsom’s successful campaign for governor in 2018 and managed Booker’s first campaign for the Senate in 2013.
Even as many states crowd New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary date, Demissie said Booker will invest a lot of time and resources to winning here.
“I think the voters of the early states deserve the respect of candidates coming to their communities and asking for their votes,” Demissie said.
“This is the role New Hampshire has played for generations in the process and Cory does want to campaign in that tradition. The same is true in Iowa.”
Booker has been here three times since officially entering the race and he’ll be here again May 12, when he’s one of four Southern New Hampshire University commencement speakers.
He also picked up a second State Senate endorsement, with Sen. David Watters of Dover announcing his support.
Lights, camera, action for NH Senate Republicans
OK it wasn’t exactly a Hollywood production, but the Facebook ad the New Hampshire Senate Republicans put together earlier this week signaled the GOP is getting into the game early.
When it comes to digital messaging, most partisan Republicans would probably admit New Hampshire Democrats have enjoyed an advantage.
That’s what makes this ad notable. And for this far away from the election, the rhetoric is pretty strong.
Sen. Robert Guida, R-Warren: “The capital gains tax that is proposed by the Democrats is going to hurt seniors the most.”
Sen. David Starr, R-Franconia: “Democrats are waging a war on Live Free or Die.”
Sen. Regina Birdsell, R-Hampstead: “Democrats are not trying to get away with voter fraud. They are actually trying to legalize it.”
Sen. James Gray, R-Rochester: “I don’t think I have enough fingers and toes to count the number of taxes the Democrats have tried to pass.”
Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry: “So join me in voting for Republicans so we can continue to make New Hampshire the best place ever.”
Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem: “More taxes, more fees; that’s the Democrats’ agenda.”
Those are some of the sound bites and to be sure they take some liberty with the facts. The proposed capital gains tax has a hefty exemption, which means the most wealthy will generate most of the estimated $85 million a year.
Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, a possible Democratic candidate for governor in 2020, was pretty strong himself in a fundraising pitch earlier this week.
“Sununu has stood in the way for long enough. We’ve done all we can in the Senate, now we need your help to get it through the Governor’s office,” Feltes said. “Chip in and help us get Sununu out of the way.”
DCYF staffing gets green light
Gov. Chris Sununu could have difficulty winning one policy fight with the Legislature.
That is over staffing of the Division of Children, Youth and Families.
Both sides agree the agency needs more people to reduce heavy workloads that caseworkers are facing.
The Senate has approved and a House panel endorsed a bill to hire an additional 20 supervisors and 57 caseworkers.
In his budget, Sununu only paid for a fraction of that additional staff.
He has said he wants administrators at the Department of Health and Human Services to use management flexibility to seek even more personnel over the next two years.
Hiring on more staff hasn’t been easy. The department hasn’t filled all of the jobs that they were given from the current budget for 2018 and 2019.
There are clearly many House and Senate Republicans who are on board with giving DCYF much if not all that the Democrats have proposed.
“New Hampshire children can’t wait any longer for the state to fulfill our responsibility to protect their safety and well being,” said Sen. Jon Morgan, D-Brentwood, the Senate bill’s prime sponsor. “We must act now to protect our most vulnerable citizens — by increasing staffing levels and reducing caseloads, that’s just what SB 6 will do.”
(For more Granite Status, go to www.unionleader.com.)
Connolly fondly remembered
The sudden death of former Securities Regulation Director Mark Connolly of New Castle last week hit hard for many in the political game.
A 2016 Democratic candidate for governor, Connolly, 63, had many close friends across the political spectrum.
Sean Downey had worked as a consultant on Connolly’s 2016 bid.
“One thing stands out to me among them all; that he is among the kindest people I’ve known and with an intelligence, curiosity and dogged commitment to making his community better that very few possess. New Hampshire was better for his service and participation in the process and I was fortunate to work with him and call him a friend. I’m going to miss him and our (often lengthy, but always informative) chats and his unmistakable sense of humor. He was one of the very good guys,” Downey posted on social media.
Samantha Piatt, chief of staff to former Manchester mayor Ted Gatsas, said humanity can remain amidst the rough and tumble.
“I am so sorry, but how lucky are we to know and experience loyalty in a business where I find myself questioning daily if that even exists anymore, and feeling blessed that I did, and still do, and you did as well,” Piatt wrote in response.
Harris brings campaign back to NH
You can get your monthly dose of presidential politics next Monday night when five Democratic hopefuls each go back-to-back-to-back-to-back with hour-long town halls at Saint Anselm College, to be broadcast on CNN.
As you can see from the Candidate Calendar, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (7 p.m.) kicks things off followed by Sen. Warren (8 p.m.), Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (9 p.m.), California Sen. Kamala Harris (10 p.m.) and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg (10 p.m).
After the forum, Harris continues her second visit to New Hampshire with town halls on the campuses of Keene State College and Dartmouth College Tuesday.
New head of NH college Republicans
Jacob Stairs was elected as the new chairman of New Hampshire Federation of College Republicans following a meeting last weekend.
He replaces Dan Passen.
Stairs, a senior at Plymouth State University, was executive director of the organization and chair of the PSU chapter.
”We all know that 2020 is going to be an important year for the Republican party and how our future is shaped as a state and as a nation,” Stairs said in a statement. “The NHFCR and its chapters are going to be a critical factor in the 2020 cycle. We are going to be leaders in the Granite State. We are going to show Granite Leadership.”
Several activists to speak at Stay Work Play summit
U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-NH,will give the keynote address at today’s summit of the Stay Work Play organization at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
The summit runs from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Speakers include New American Africans Board Chair Victoria Adewumi of Hooksett; Global Awareness Local Action Executive Director Josh Arnold of Ossipee; state Rep. Manny Espitia, D-Nashua; Keene City Councilor George Hansel; Nashua Alderwoman Shoshanna Kelly; Portsmouth City Councilor Rebecca Perkins Kwoka; Pride Concord organizer Alison Murphy; and Teatotaller Teahouse proprietor Emmett Soldati of Somersworth.
NH local leaders at White House
Several development officials from New Hampshire attended an Opportunity Zone Conference Wednesday at which President Trump spoke of ways to maximize investment. The federal tax cut bill included a new initiative and there are 8,700 communities with these zones in all 50 states.
Those from the Granite State invited to take part were Taylor Caswell, , state business and economic affairs department commissioner; Derry Economic Development DirectorBeverly Donovan;Plymouth Town Administrator Paul Freitas;and Littleton Town Manager Andrew Dorsett.
NH GOP picks new leadership
After taking over as party boss, State Chairman Stephen Stepanekwas expected to bring in new staff to head up the state committee.
Executive Director Todd Cheewing agreed to stay on to ensure a smooth transition. The state Executive Committee’s choice of Elliot Gault signals Sununu’s desire to take more control of the party apparatus than he had during his first term as governor.
Gault has been Sununu’s director of appointments and liaison to the Executive Council.
He takes over the party post early next month.
Cheewing got a lot of praise from activists for helping man a GOP staff that was outgunned by the much larger staff and campaign budget Democrats had going into the midterms.
”When I started as a county chair in 2013, Todd was there to help me on my way, teaching me so much with patience and a cheerful disposition,” said Kate Day, who headed up Cheshire County and ran for vice chairman.
”He has continued to give me so much support in my present role, even knowing his tenure was coming to an end.”
Shaheen gives foreign policy speech after Mideast trip
U.S. Sen.Jeanne Shaheen will speak on foreign policy Thursday at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, starting at 12:40 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building.
The UNH Global Education Center and International Affairs Program is sponsoring the event.
Shaheen just got back from a weekend trip to Afghanistan with fellow Democratic senators Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Doug Jones of Alabama.
Sununu tried to please both camps with picks.
As our David Solomon reported, the Executive Council confirmed Bob Quinn of Seabrook as the commissioner of safety to replace retiring Commissioner John Barthlemes of Hopkinton.
The council also OK’d Sununu’s pick of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Perry Plummer to take the assistant commissioner post that Quinn has held.
Both had their supporters in public safety. Many in the police community were rooting for Quinn, who was state police director before he moved into the commissioner’s office.
Those in emergency management and fire safety talked up Plummer, given his background.
The compromise to promote them both seemed to go over pretty well.