VP Mike Pence to headline Sununu fundraiser in Manchester

  • Vice President Mike Pence tweeted out this photo of himself and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. Courtesy

For the Monitor
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence is headed to New Hampshire next month to headline what’s being billed as a major fundraising event for Gov. Chris Sununu’s 2018 re-election campaign.

Pence is listed as the special guest for a Sununu fundraising dinner March 22 in Manchester, according to an invitation obtained Wednesday by the Monitor.

The event is being held at the Radisson Manchester Downtown Hotel. Tickets range from $500 per person to $7,000, which includes a photo opportunity and a table for 10 people.

Last week Sununu announced the news on his personal Twitter account, writing “Look forward to welcoming Vice President @mike_pence to the Granite State in March for a Friends of Chris Sununu dinner!”

But the governor didn’t mention a specific date for the fundraiser at the time.

New Hampshire’s first Republican governor in a dozen years often highlights his strong working relationship and ties to President Donald Trump’s administration. Sununu’s made half a dozen trips to the White House since the beginning of last year.

While Sununu has already held fundraisers for his re-election, next month’s dinner appears to be the first high-profile campaign event for the governor in New Hampshire. And it likely marks the start of a more aggressive fundraising and campaign schedule as the November election nears.

Sununu enjoys healthy approval ratings in recent public opinion polls, and he saw much of his agenda passed by state lawmakers in last year’s legislative agenda.

According to fundraising figures reported in December, the governor’s Friends of Chris Sununu committee reported raising more than $400,000 and spending more than $300,000 since the November 2016 election.

Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, a 2016 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, is the only major declared candidate for his party’s 2018 nomination. Last week, Sununu’s opponent in the 2016 general election, former executive councilor Colin Van Ostern, announced that he wouldn’t run again in 2018.

Former state senator Molly Kelly has said she’s seriously considering jumping into the race. Former deputy secretary of state and Bureau of Securities Regulation director Mark Connolly, who came in third to Van Ostern and Marchand in the 2016 primary, hasn’t ruled out another bid. Neither has state Sen. Dan Feltes of Concord and former congressman Paul Hodes, who represented the state’s 2nd District for two terms.

Pence has been very active on the campaign trail the past year, which is customary for vice presidents. But Pence seems to be going a step further, acting more like a second-term than a first-term vice president. He set up his own political fundraising committee, the Great America Committee. Politico reported earlier this month that Sununu was one of four GOP governors to receive contributions this year from Pence’s committee.