On the Trail: Feltes, Volinsky address race for governor

  • Councilor Andru Volinsky talks to reporters after an Executive Council vote to hold the raises of Liquor Commission officials until the agency releases more financial information on its operations, Feb. 6, 2019. Ethan DeWitt

  • State Sen. Dan Feltes, a Concord Democrat, speaks with the Monitor's editorial board Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. NICK REID

For the Monitor
Published: 4/11/2019 6:18:47 PM

Democrats inching toward a run for governor don’t know if they’ll be taking on popular Republican incumbent Chris Sununu or another familiar foe, which could be interfering with their political calculus.

State Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes said for the first time Thursday that he will likely make a decision about running for governor during the summer, telling the Monitor that he and his wife Erin will “make our decision on 2020 after the session.”

“I’m not ruling it out,” the three-term state senator from Concord said when asked by radio host Jack Heath on “New Hampshire Today” if he’s seriously mulling a gubernatorial run.

Meanwhile, two-term Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky of Concord reiterated to the Monitor on Thursday that he’s eyeing a bigger political footprint.

“I’m seriously considering a run for governor in 2020,” he said.

He shared some of the behind-the-scenes moves he’s making as he draws closer to a gubernatorial bid, highlighting that he’s “making phone calls and contacts. That’s going well.”

Volinsky, a Concord resident and general counsel at the Bernstein Shur law firm in Manchester, was for years best known in the Granite State as the lead attorney for the victorious plaintiff school districts in the historic Claremont school district funding lawsuit two decades ago.

Three years ago, he represented Dover in that city’s lawsuit against New Hampshire over the state’s cap on adequacy money to school districts.

He has made his intention to run for governor clear.

“I am fairly likely to run for Governor in N.H. in 2020,” Volinsky, a vocal critic of Sununu, wrote to friends in an email in January. “It is a path that I have been on for some time and things are falling into place.”

Former state senator Molly Kelly of Harrisville, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, hasn’t ruled out another run. She lost to Sununu by seven percentage points in last November’s election.

Former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2016 and 2018, appears to be entertaining a third bid.

Another person to keep an eye on is Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who’s running for re-election this year for a second term steering the state’s largest city.

There’s been plenty of speculation whether Sununu will run for a third two-year term as governor or challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who’s running for re-election next year for a third six-year term representing New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate.

Sources have told the Monitor that the governor would likely decide before the end of this year’s legislative session. But Sununu made clear in a statement this week that he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

“I have made absolutely no decisions on my future in public service,” Sununu said. “Whether I run for re-election, the United States Senate or go back to the private sector – I will make that decision later this spring with Valerie (his wife) and the kids.”

2020 contender Ryan calls N.H. his ‘second home’

Newly declared presidential candidate Rep. Tim Ryan calls New Hampshire his “second home.”

The Ohio Democrat graduated from the University of New Hampshire School of Law in 2000, when it was known as the Franklin Pierce School of Law.

Last year, he gave the commencement speech at the school, one of the many stops he made in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state the past two years as he mulled a White House bid.

On Wednesday, he returned to the Granite State for the first time since declaring his candidacy for the presidency.

“I do think I have some better understanding (of New Hampshire) because I lived here,” Ryan said in a one-on-one interview with the Monitor.

The eight-term Democratic congressman from northeast Ohio also highlighted that he’s “pretty confident” he’ll make the stage at the upcoming Democratic primary debates.

Ryan launched his campaign last week, relatively late compared to most of his rivals for the nomination. The first round of debates hosted by the Democratic National Committee are in late June. To make the cut, candidates have to receive at least one percent support in three DNC-approved polls and bring in contributions from at least 65,000 unique donors – with a minimum of 200 donors from at least 20 states.

“I think we’re going to get on that stage. I’m pretty confident we will. But we’ll see. We’ve got two months and we’re out kicking it,” he stressed.

Booker’s bed and breakfast

Sen. Cory Booker’s spending a lot of time in New Hampshire as he runs for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The New Jersey Democrat’s campaign announced Thursday that the senator has held 27 events and met with more than 3,000 Granite Staters in three visits since he declared his candidacy at the beginning of February.

But Booker appears to be going a step further as he campaigns in the state. Instead of checking into hotels, he’s overnighting at the homes of some Democratic lawmakers and activists.

Booker’s been the guest at the homes of state Sens. Martha Hennessey of Hanover and Kevin Cavanaugh of Manchester, as well as state Rep. Latha Mangipudi of Nashua. And he also was a house guest in the Manchester home of party leader and volunteer Pat Kalik.

“Cory is campaigning the New Hampshire way – including by staying with Granite Staters, giving him the opportunity to connect with voters in their own homes. He enjoys sharing a cup of coffee, a homemade meal and great conversation with his hosts. He’s glad to revive this Granite State tradition,” highlighted Booker’s New Hampshire spokesman Chris Moyer.

Kuster’s campaign cash

Second Congressional District Rep. Annie Kuster is once again living up to her reputation as a ferocious fundraiser.

The Hopkinton Democrat, who was re-elected last November to a fourth-straight term in the U.S. House of Representatives, hauled in $371,115 in fundraising the first three months of this year.

Kuster, who has already filed to run again for re-election in 2020, reported a healthy $1.35 million cash on hand as of the beginning of April.

Kuster raised about $3 million in her 2018 re-election campaign.

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301


© 2020 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy