CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu called on a one-term Republican state representative to resign immediately following his arrest on domestic violence charges.
According to published reports, Robert L. Forsythe, 38, was arrested last June 28 with local police accusing him of choking an intimate partner who was pregnant.
He’s out on bail following his arrest on felony and misdemeanor domestic violence charges.
“Sexual and domestic violence will not be tolerated in New Hampshire. Robert Forsythe must resign. Immediately,” Sununu said.
During the 2020 legislative session, Forsythe also sponsored a bill that would permit someone to violate a restraining order if the victim requested contact with that offender. The House killed the bill last March.
Hours before Sununu’s statement, House Republican Leader Dick Hinch of Merrimack said it was up to Forsythe to decide if he should step down.
“Domestic violence and assault are unacceptable and wrong and have no place in our society,” Hinch said in a statement. “Rep. Forsythe is the only person who can put pen to paper, and sign a resignation letter. The people of Boscawen have the right to ask him to resign if they believe he can no longer represent them. They also have the ability to vote for alternative candidates, including write-ins, if they believe they no longer want Rep. Forsythe to represent them in Concord. “
A member of the House Education Committee, Forsythe narrowly won his House seat in 2018 by six votes over Democrat Edward Cherian.
In 2020, Forsythe is the only GOP candidate running for the House seat.
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence’s Karin Ashton said in a statement: “These egregious crimes he has been charged with include strangulation, which is a particularly lethal form of abuse and is known to be a common precursor to domestic violence homicide. All perpetrators must be held accountable, but elected officials who work on legislation that impacts public safety must be held to the highest standards in order to uphold the integrity of our laws and have the trust of their constituents.”