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June 24th, 2022      Political Note #476 New Hampshire 02

2022                          General Election

New Hampshire has two Democratic Senators, two Democratic Members of Congress, a Republican Governor, and a Republican State legislature.  No one should characterize New Hampshire as a one-party state.

New Hampshire has evolved.  With the exception of four years in the 1970s, New Hampshire went 150 years with at least one Republican US Senator.  Most of those years there were two Republican US Senators.  In 2008, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen was to the Senate.  In 2016, Democrat Maggie Hassan (who is up for reelection this fall) was elected to the US Senate.

Republican Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the Republican legislature’s redistricting plan at least twice.  The legislature had tried to create a Republican Congressional District and a Democratic Congressional district.  Sununu forced the process into the courts.

New Hampshire’s First Congressional District (the eastern part of the state) was Republican for long stretches of time – from 1939 to 1965 and then from 1985 to 2007.  In between those long stretches, there was the occasional Democrat.  Democrat Chris Pappas succeeded Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in 2019.  The redistricted first Congressional District of New Hampshire is classified by the website 538 at R+1.

New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District (the western part of the state plus the entire north) was, except for two years,  Republican from 1893 to 1991.  After 1991, Republicans and Democrats alternated until Annie Kuster was elected in 2012.  She is running for her 6th term.  The redistricted second Congressional District of New Hampshire is classified by the website 538 as D+2.

In vetoing the legislature’s plan, Chris Sununu may have been insisting on fairness.  Or he may have been insisting on two Congressional Districts that could return New Hampshire to the days when both its Members of Congress were Republicans.

 Annie Kuster’s family, like New Hampshire, has evolved.  Her grandfather, John McLane was the Republican governor of New Hampshire for two years early in the 20th century.

Annie Kuster’s mother, Susan McLane, was a Republican State Senator and candidate for the 2ndCongressional District.  She came in second in the Republican Primary to Judd Gregg who was eventually elected to the US Senate.

Annie Kuster’s father, Malcolm McLane, was an independent.  He served as mayor of Concord as an independent and as a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council as an independent.  He got 20% of the vote running for Governor in 1976 as an independent, losing to the retrograde Republican Mel Thompson.

Malcolm McLane was a Republican-leaning Independent.  In 1976, he supported Gerald Ford’s run for President.  In 1980, he supported former Republican, then independent John Anderson for President.

Annie Kuster stayed close to home for college.  She went to Dartmouth where she studied environmental policy. Then she went to Washington, to Georgetown University Law School.  She came home a Democrat.

Annie Kuster came home to be a lobbyist for the good guys.  She joined “a consulting and training practice that works with nonprofit clients to maximize their effectiveness and sustainability through fundraising, outreach and strategic planning.”  She also specialized in adoptions and on environmental issues, the latter of which has been her the focus of her husband, who is also an attorney.

Few lobbyists only work for the “good guys.”  In New Hampshire, describing herself as a “Public advocate” she also lobbied for pharmaceutical companies.  Annie Kuster touts bringing together New Hampshire’s several colleges and hospitals to create a tax free college savings plan.

Annie Kuster was also an active Democrat.  She campaigned for John Kerry.  She campaigned for Barack Obama, and, in 2010, she ran for Congress and won.  In Congress, she has focused on women’s issues. One achievement was protection for pregnant workers.  As Annie Kuster worked on ways to deal with sexual assault in the military and human trafficking, she also revealed occasions when she had been assaulted. Characteristic of her interest in finding bi-partisan solutions, she and the Vermont Congressman sought Republican help in fixing Affordable Care Act problems.

Annie Kuster entered April well prepared for a Republican opponent, with $2.4 million in hand. This is the district the New Hampshire Republican legislature was willing to give up on. As a result none of the Republican alternatives have much more than $100,000.  Now that the district is competitive, Republicans will raise some money.  And once the primary is over and the Republicans know their candidate, they will raise more.  Help Annie Kuster stay well prepared.  Donate.

Updated list of the very closest races for the General Election.  Defending every Incumbent and Open Democratic seats successfully is the core challenge for 2022.  Finding a few Republican seats to flip is valuable, too.

  1. WA 08 EVEN Incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier (Political Note #390)
  2. PA 01 EVEN Retired Army Pilot Democrat Ashley Ehasz (Political Note #468) v Incumbent Republican Brian Fitzpatrick
  3. AK AL EVEN* Physician and commercial fisherman Al Gross (Political Note #462) v 47 open primary candidates and then the three other top voter getters (among them probably former Vice-Presidential candidate Sara Palin) of whom the winner will be selected by ranked voting.
  4. TX 15 EVEN Democrats Businesswoman Michelle Vallejo or Attorney Ruben Ramirez (Vallejo leading by 23 votes) v Insurance agent and businesswoman Republican Monica De La Cruz-Hernandez
  5. MD 06 R+1 Incumbent Democrat David Trone (Political Note #466) v (probably) State Delegate Neil Parrot
  6. MI 08 R+1 Incumbent Democrat Dan Kildee (Political Note #459) v one of three Republican candidates
  7. NH 01 R+1 Incumbent Democrat Chris Pappas (Political Note #429) v one of 8 Republicans
  8. MN 02 D+1 Incumbent Democrat Angie Craig (Political Note #355) v Retired Marine and 2020 candidate Tyler Kistner
  9. AZ 04 D+1 Incumbent Greg Stanton (Political Note #467) v one of six Republican candidates
  10. NY 19 R+1 Attorney Democrat Josh Riley (Political Note #473) v County Executive Republican Marc Molinaro
  11. PA 17 D+1 University Institute Director Chris Deluzio (Political Note #475) v ex Commissioner Jeremy Shaffer
  12. IA 03 R+2 Incumbent Democrat Cindy Axne (Political Note #428) v one of three Republican candidates
  13. VA 07 D+2 Incumbent Democrat Abigail Spanberger (Political Note #438) v one of eight Republican candidates
  14. NV 03 D+2 Incumbent Democrat Susie Lee (Political Note #356) v one of six Republican candidates
  15. NH 02 D+2 Incumbent Democrat Annie Kuster (Political Note #476) v one of two Republican candidates
  16. NY 22 D+2 Navy Veteran Francis Conole v one of three Republican candidates

*The EVEN designation for the Alaska race is based on the first poll for this race which found Al Gross tied with Sara Palin rather than the 538 website calculation used for all others listed)


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