Donald Trump wasn’t the only dragon New Hampshire Democrats were eager to slay as they gathered for their state convention on Saturday in Manchester.
Several speakers also took aim at the state’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu.
Senate President Donna Soucy of Manchester led an energetic call-and-response with the crowd to “veto Sununu,” listing legislation the governor has vetoed, including bills on the minimum wage, renewable energy, firearms and family leave.
Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes of Concord, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, also ticked off a list of bills that Sununu has vetoed. “Next fall, what are we going to do? We’re going to veto Sununu out,” he said.
Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky of Concord said he will decide “in the next six weeks” whether he, too, will run for governor. The next election, he said, is about more than beating Sununu: “It’s about electing good people up and down the ballot.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of 19 candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination who spoke at Saturday’s convention, took up the theme when she called for electing Democrats “up and down the ticket.”
“Let’s get rid of Governor Veto,” she said.
Lucas Meyer, president of New Hampshire Young Democrats, told the crowd of about 9,000 to look around the arena. “This is the army that is going to keep this state blue,” he said, “that is going to veto Sununu.”
Some of the presidential candidates went out of their way to show their insider knowledge of the Granite State on Saturday.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar praised New Hampshire as “a place that has led.”
“You have led with a brave history of military service and diplomacy,” she said. “You are the home of Bretton Woods.”
Tom Steyer gave a shout-out to the Red Arrow diner, a must-stop for presidential primary candidates, noting when he visited there, he sat in the same seat where former Vice President Al Gore once sat.
Former presidential contender Gary Hart introduced Sen. Michael Bennett with a nod to his own history here: “A number of years ago, the voters of this state provided an opportunity for a young Colorado senator to build a national campaign,” Hart said. “You have the chance now to do it again.”
One of the most personal moments of the day came from the Democratic National Committee’s Labor Council Chair Stuart Appelbaum. When he was growing up, the American Psychiatric Association considered homosexuality “a mental disorder,” Appelbaum told the crowd.
“And here I am today, doing what would have been unthinkable for me for most of my life, sharing with all of you how just six days ago, I was married to my boyfriend, the love of my life,” he said.
“We decided that we wanted to spend our honeymoon in Manchester, New Hampshire, with all of you,” he said.