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Editorial: Democrats should pick Marchand

  • Marchand AP


Thursday, September 06, 2018

Democrats who are sincere in their desire to make Chris Sununu a one-term governor come November should give their vote to Steve Marchand on Tuesday. 

His challenger in the Democratic primary, former five-term state senator Molly Kelly of Harrisville, is a strong candidate, but Marchand alone has the energy, imagination and boldness to challenge a Republican incumbent who at this early date appears to be a shoo-in for re-election. We believe that of the two Democratic candidates for governor, Marchand is the one who will not only energize young voters but potentially sway independents and moderate Republicans who are less than impressed with Sununu’s stewardship.

New Hampshire, purple state that it is, values bipartisanship, and Marchand has proven that he is much more interested in creative and collaborative solutions than checking off boxes on a party to-do list. His time as regional director for the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group focused on fiscal responsibility (and founded by the late Sens. Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, a Republican, and Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, a Democrat), and as state director for No Labels, which aims to put an end to hyper-partisanship, should be eye-opening for voters of all political stripes who have grown weary of political dysfunction. Marchand is a wonky candidate who has an auditor’s understanding of numbers; he is the kind of leader who doesn’t just browse budgets but dissects them. Importantly, his time as mayor of Portsmouth helped him see how numbers on a page translate to the overall well-being of real people. 

Marchand shares our belief that the state’s narrow approach to fiscal policy has long been and continues to be detrimental, a reality that is starkly reflected in the educational divide between property-poor and property-rich communities. He understands that good public schools are one of the most significant drivers of economic growth, and he views policy through that lens. This summer, Marchand told us that “the chasm between the have and have-not communities is bigger now than when we lost the (Claremont) lawsuit ... So I have to fix it. I gotta work on it. It’s not a choice.” His sense of urgency – not just on public education and property taxes but infrastructure, the opioid epidemic, gun violence and so many other pressing issues in New Hampshire – is refreshing. 

While the road between ideas and policy is long and difficult, we believe Marchand has the energy and intelligence to lead crucial, difficult and long-overdue conversations about New Hampshire’s path forward. We urge Democrats and independents to give him their vote on Sept. 11.