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Shea-Porter’s longtime aide joins crowded race to succeed her in Congress

  • Shea-Porter’s longtime aide Naomi Andrews joins crowded race to succeed her in Congress. Courtesy—



For the Monitor
Thursday, May 03, 2018

Eight obviously wasn’t enough.

Retiring U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s chief of staff on Wednesday jumped into the race to succeed the four-term Democratic congresswoman in New Hampshire’s First District.

Naomi Andrew’s late entry into the race makes her the ninth candidate vying for the Democratic nomination. Three Republicans are also running for Congress in the First District.

“Carol Shea Porter is retiring but I believe the people of New Hampshire will still want someone in Congress who’s from the middle class, knows what it’s like, and will fight for them and their families every day,” Andrews said in a nearly three-minute long video announcing her candidacy.

Andrews touted her Granite State roots and working class upbringing, pointing out that she grew up in Epping and was the first in her family to attend college.

“I have the experience, enthusiasm, and commitment to serve the people of this district that I love so much,” she said.

Andrews said she had been mulling a run for Congress for months.

“I won’t be beholden to special interests because I will not accept a dime of corporate PAC or DC lobbyist money,” she said.

Andrews has worked for Shea-Porter for over a decade. Besides serving as chief of staff, Andrews was Shea-Porter’s campaign manager during two election cycles.

Andrews is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont and received a law degree from the University of Richmond School Of Law in Virginia.

The First District, which covers most of the eastern part of the state, is considered one of the premiere swing congressional districts in the country. The seat’s ping-ponged between Democrat and GOP control during the past four elections, and for the first time in 16 years there’s no incumbent seeking re-election. Since the district was one of only 12 nationwide won by President Trump in 2016 but controlled by Democrats, the GOP hopes to recapture the seat.

The other Democrats in the race are Executive Council Chris Pappas of Manchester, Maura Sullivan of Portsmouth, a U.S. Marine and Iraq War vet who later served at the Veterans Administration and the Pentagon under President Barack Obama, state Rep. Mark Mackenzie of Manchester, a former fireman who served more than two decades as head of the state chapter of the AFL-CIO, retired Portsmouth trial lawyer Lincoln Soldati, a former Somersworth mayor who also spent 17 years as Strafford County attorney, state Rep. MindiMessmer of Rye, an environmental scientist, Army and Iraq War veteran and current Rochester city attorney Terence O’Rourke, technology executive and community activist DeaglanMcEachern of Portsmouth, and Levi Sanders, the son of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who lives in Claremont.

The Republican candidates are Eddie Edwards of Dover, a Navy veteran and former South Hampton police chief who also served as top law enforcement officer for the state’s liquor commission, and businessman and conservative state Sen. Andy Sanborn of Bedford.

Hampton Falls resident and tech executive Bruce Crochetiere on Tuesday became the third GOP candidate to declare his candidacy.