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Campaign Monitor

Hassan, Havenstein get in last-minute jabs during final televised debate

New Hampshire’s gubernatorial candidates met for their final televised debate last night, underscoring now well-established contrasts on economic and other issues. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Walt Havenstein, her Republican challenger, traded a familiar chorus of criticisms against each other. Both of them characterize the other as an ineffective leader whose vision would harm the state in the long run. In Hassan’s view, Havenstein’s economic proposals would threaten funding for key state institutions and programs, which in turn would harm New Hampshire residents who rely 0

Marilinda Garcia stumps at the Barley House in Concord

State Rep. Marilinda Garcia met some new faces last night at the Barley House in Concord, where she hosted a town hall meeting, taking questions from the crowd through Merrimack County GOP Chairman Bryan Gould. Garcia, the Republican running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, positioned herself as a moderate in style and on several issues, saying she never wanted to run a campaign of empty slogans. “When I started this campaign, I really didn’t want to resort to those kind of things that people 0

Three candidates vie for one seat on the Concord School Board in District B

Two current members and one newcomer are vying for one seat to represent District B on the Concord School Board. All three have similar concerns about the district – such as a lack of communication and involvement between Concord residents and the board – but approach the board with diverse professional backgrounds and experience. Barb Higgins and Patrick Taylor, both current board members, are being challenged by Nathan Fennessy. Higgins was elected to the board in 2011, while Taylor was appointed to the board this 0

In N.H., candidates pushing for constitutional carry

The owner of the Boscawen pizza parlor looked uncomfortably at the handgun strapped to Robert Forsythe’s hip. The gun was legal, Forsythe told him reassuringly. A Republican candidate for a House seat in Merrimack County District 8, Forsythe – who pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit earlier this year – has campaigned almost entirely on Second Amendment issues. “Sometimes,” he said, when asked whether people get nervous around the gun or question him about it. “They never say anything, really.” If 0

In Merrimack County District 27, a Democrat-turned-Republican tries to affect change

Three candidates are on the ballot for two House seats in Merrimack County District 27, a floterial district that includes Concord Wards 1 through 7. State Reps. Chip Rice and Mary Stuart Gile are both seeking re-election on the Democratic ticket. Their opponent, Democrat-turned-Republican Jim McConaha, is making his first bid for elected office. Jim McConaha Earlier this year, Jim McConaha tried to recruit Republican candidates to run for state representative in Concord. It worked. “I think I talked myself into it,” said McConaha, 73. 0

Meet the Merrimack County District 17 candidates

Two candidates will be on the ballot next month to represent Merrimack County District 17, which includes Concord Ward 8 on the Heights. Incumbent Dick Patten, a Democrat, is seeking a third term. His challenger is Republican Chris Wood, whose name has been on at least two previous ballots. Dick Patten Dick Patten has been on the Heights for 62 years. “I’ve lived here all my life, in Concord,” said Patten, a Democrat. “I’ve never moved off the Heights. . . . We’re all Heights 0

Communicating campaign anxieties can work in candidates’ favor

The tones of the subject lines making their way into potential voters’ inboxes are, at times, indistinguishable from pleas you might receive from a down-and-out friend. There was the one late in the evening of Oct. 7: “please, this is critical.” It was U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster’s campaign, saying their team was “a few thousand dollars short” ahead of a “huge budget milestone.” There was another one that arrived about midday on Oct. 8: “news (not great).” This one was from U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s 0

Democrats unopposed in seven of Concord’s 15 House seats

Democrats are running unopposed this cycle in seven of Concord’s 15 seats in the state House of Representatives. Four of those seven candidates are incumbents, and the other three will fill seats formerly held by Democrats. “I actually think it’s a compliment to those that are running for re-election, a lot of the incumbents,” said Rep. Steve Shurtleff, a Concord Democrat and the House majority leader. “Otherwise, I don’t know if it’s because the Republicans may have had a hard time finding people to run. 0

New American citizens excited to vote in U.S. for first time

They began the day as 80 New Hampshire residents from 39 different countries. They left a Concord courtroom as a group of new American citizens. During a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. District Court yesterday, Judge Joseph Laplante congratulated the new citizens and also urged them to exercise all their new rights, including the right to vote. “Your responsibility to yourself, your new country and to your new fellow citizens is to help protect those rights by exercising them,” Laplante said. The Nov. 4 election 0

AG: Havenstein violated campaign finance rules

Walt Havenstein’s campaign violated state campaign finance rules earlier this year but will not face penalties because it has since corrected its errors, the attorney general’s office ruled yesterday. The political committee for Havenstein’s gubernatorial campaign was registered April 2, but its first campaign contribution – a loan from the candidate – and expense had been made almost a month earlier, Associate Attorney General Richard Head wrote in the ruling. The loan was made March 1, and a payment “for strategic consulting services” was made 0

Marilinda Garcia receiving $3,300 monthly salary from campaign

State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, who’s running for the seat in the 2nd Congressional District, is receiving a salary from campaign funds, according to financial disclosure documents made available yesterday. Garcia, a Salem Republican, received $3,335 from the campaign Sept. 30. Garcia, who has worked as an adjunct music teacher at colleges and private schools in the region, is campaigning full time, which is why she is receiving a salary, a campaign official told WMUR. While it’s uncommon, it is legal for a candidate to be 0

Kuster with $1 million, Garcia with $311,000 in final weeks

Incumbent 2nd District U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster had three times the amount of cash on hand her challenger, state Rep. Marilinda Garcia, had by the end of September, according to financial documents available yesterday. Kuster, a Democrat from Hopkinton in her first term in Congress, raised $558,000 between Aug. 21 and Sept. 30, bringing her total raised in this election to $3.15 million. Her campaign spent $1.1 million this period and had $1.1 million on hand at the end of September. Garcia, a Republican from 0

Kuster talks jobs, Social Security and ISIS

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster gave President Obama and his administration a “C” grade on their handling of the nation’s recent foreign policy crisis. The administration’s response to the threat of the Islamic State has been “slow,” she said, and intelligence briefings “disappointing.” “I have been surprised at the lack of intelligence we’ve had, and the way the threat seemed to advance much more rapidly than the intelligence we were privy to in Congress led us to believe,” she said during an interview this week with 0

Bill Clinton rallies Democrats at Manchester dinner

Republican candidates running against the state’s Democratic delegation want voters to stop thinking this cycle and cast “resentment votes” in their favor, former president Bill Clinton told a packed house in Manchester last night. “I want you to re-elect your senator, your governor, your representatives in Congress,” Clinton said at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, where he highlighted those candidates’ work on health care, college affordability and raising the minimum wage. “But I want you to do it with no malice 0

Meet the Merrimack County District 12 state rep candidates

Two candidates are vying for one seat in the state House of Representatives for Merrimack County District 12, which includes Concord Ward 2. Incumbent Paul Henle, a Democrat, is seeking his sophomore session in the Legislature. His Republican challenger, Kevin Moore, lost his 2012 bid for the Merrimack County District 18 seat to represent Concord Ward 9. Now, he’s trying again with a new address. Paul Henle State Rep. Paul Henle of Concord describes himself as “a problem-solver.” “I enjoy solving problems, and I believe 0