A FEW WEEKS ago, our hard-working District 3 Executive Councilor, Russell Prescott, had a worthy idea for the Governor and Council to ponder: Reconsider the nomination of Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to the state Supreme Court.
Prescott, along with Councilor Ted Gatsas, supported Governor Sununu’s nomination of MacDonald a few months ago, only to be thwarted by partisan considerations of the three Democrats on the council.
Councilor Prescott’s premise is simple — that prior judicial nominations took into account qualifications, not political affiliations. And it is impossible to ignore Attorney General MacDonald’s impressive qualifications.
Since taking office in the spring of 2017, MacDonald has been a greatly appreciated source of strength and comfort as our state takes on the opioid crisis. He shows leadership daily, working closely with law enforcement, first responders and caregivers to safeguard our communities and protect our future. Indeed, it is safe to say he has set a very high bar for service as attorney general, for which we are all better as a result.
As an attorney in private practice, he distinguished himself as one of New Hampshire’s most skilled and accomplished lawyers. He chaired the N.H. Campaign for Legal Services, inspiring the legal profession’s commitment to supporting greater access to legal services to new heights. And he has been the author of a legal treatise for years that literally outlines how to best practice law in New Hampshire.
I don’t know Gordon MacDonald personally. I don’t believe we’ve ever met. But I know character and competency when I see it, and in those categories, Mr. MacDonald clearly stands out. It’s an opinion shared by many other leaders of the New Hampshire Bar, such as former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Linda Dalianis, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Carol Ann Conboy, Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court in New Hampshire Landya McCafferty, former U.S. Attorneys John Kacavas and Emily Rice, former state Attorney General Mike Delaney and 18 former state Bar Association presidents, among many others. All supported MacDonald’s nomination.
Some may recall that I ran for Congress in 2018 — my first time being involved in politics. I ran because I was inspired by the enthusiastic, can-do leadership of our governor, Chris Sununu, and that as an entrepreneur who started and grew his own business, I thought my experience as a pragmatic job creator and innovator would add an important element to the race.
I believed — and still do believe — that engagement in the political process is a worthy calling and people of good faith on both sides of the aisle can make an enormous difference for the good of our state and our country. That’s the kind of sensible leadership I see from Councilor Prescott right now with his call to reconsider Mr. MacDonald’s nomination.
His words are timely because we need more — not fewer — community-minded leaders like Mr. MacDonald ready and willing to serve our state. The hyper-politicized process that led to the defeat of his nomination should concern every one of us.
As Councilor Prescott aptly noted a few weeks ago, “What matters is when the person puts on the robe of a judge, everyone is treated equally.” It is clear from his record of achievement and the quality of people backing his candidacy that Gordon MacDonald easily exceeds that threshold criteria.
I join with Councilor Prescott in urging the council to reconsider this good and worthy man for a seat on our state’s Supreme Court.