2018       General Election       Elected 56 – 42

 Here is another of the ten closest Democratic Congressional winnersof 2016. Everyone of these will be a Republican target in 2018.  New Hampshire Republicans  have selected an opponent for Annie Kusteralready.  She needs to be ready. We need to be ready.

Annie Kuster’shttp://www.kusterforcongress.com/ pedigree is not exactly what you would expect of a Democratic politician.  Her maternal great grandfather was governor of New Hampshire early in the twentieth century — as a Republican.  Her mother was a State Senator in New Hampshire — as a Republican. Kuster’s mom ran for New Hampshire’s second congressional district, the seat that Annie Kuster now holds ––  as a Republican.  Her mom lost in the primary to Republican Judd Gregg — who was elected.  Coming in third in that primary was Republican Charlie Bass who later represented NH 02 until he was defeated by a Democrat — Annie Kuster

Annie Kuster‘s father, a prisoner of war in WW II, on the other hand, was an independent.  The former mayor of Concord and member of the New Hampshire Executive Council, he came in third running as an independent, losing to the retrograde Republican Mel Thompson.  He was, however, a Republican-leaning Independent.  In 1980, the same year that his wife ran for NH 02Kuster’s father declined to endorse Independent John Anderson for President and supported Ronald Reagan instead.

Annie Kusteris running again, this time for her fourth term representing NH 02.  This district is no gimme.  Every election in this district that she has been in has been close, including her first campaign when she lost.  She won, in 2016, in the tenth closest race in the country among Democratic Congressional winners.  She will need people’s support.

Unlike her parents and grandparents and great grandparents, Annie Kuster is a Democrat.   At Dartmouth she studied environmental policy.  In 2000, she won an award for service to the New Hampshire Democratic Party.  In subsequent years, she was among the leaders in the state in supporting John Kerry and Barack Obama. Recently, she has spoken about three instances when she encountered sexual harassment or worse at Dartmouth and in Washington before she was elected to Congress. 

In her life before elective office, Annie Kuster was (as is still the case for her husband whose primary interest is environmental law) a leading New Hampshire attorney.  Known for her work as an adoption attorney, she was also a lobbyist (or as she would call it, a public policy advocate) on behalf of surgical centers, pharmaceutical companies, and investment firms.  She has been criticized in campaigns for her past lobbying, especially for her “advocacy” against New Hampshire barring drugs that could be used in date rape. 

Kuster’s corporate work and connections also led to the development of private-public partnerships — the NH Medication Bridge program, a public-private partnership to provide free prescriptions to patients in need and the NH UNIQUE College Savings Plan to help families save money for college tax free. If her lobbying was lucrative, it did not lead to large donations on her behalf.  According to Ballotpedia, the affiliations of her five largest campaign donor groups were J Street (a liberal, pro-Israel organization), Dartmouth College, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the League of Conservation Voters, and the New Democratic Coalition.  A careful spender, she raised $3 million and spent $2 million in 2016.

Ballotpedia describes Kuster as a moderate, left of center Democrat more likely to break with fellow Democrats than most of her colleagues.  Nevertheless, she has voted with the Democratic leadership more than 90% of the time.  She supported Hillary Clinton for president in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders in the, famously, first presidential primary of the election year.  She is a practiced and practical politician and legislator. 

Annie McLane Kusterhttp://www.kusterforcongress.com/needs our help.  If we are going to flip the US Congress in 2018, we need hers.  This is not a special election.  This is an election in 2018.  Monthly donations, even small ones, are extremely useful.  Do what you can.