Feltes says he’s ‘strongly considering’ a 2020 run for governor

For the Monitor
Published: 7/11/2019 8:32:43 AM

New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes is taking a big step toward a bid for governor.

The three-term Democratic state senator from Concord announced Thursday that he’s “strongly considering a run for governor of New Hampshire” and set up an exploratory committee, a first step toward launching a gubernatorial campaign.

He said that he and his wife, Erin, “will make our final decision on whether or not I run for governor at the end of the summer.”

The move by Feltes comes a week and a half after another likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate – Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky – took a similar step.

Feltes emphasized in an email to supporters he posted online that “in order to move New Hampshire forward, we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.”

He added, “unfortunately, today, people are getting left behind in New Hampshire.”

Feltes took aim at Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who’s running for a third, two-year term steering the Granite State when he’s up for re-election next year.

“Governor Sununu has repeatedly vetoed critical pieces of legislation, joyfully claiming that he’s going veto everything we send to him,” Feltes said. “Governor Sununu’s vetoes are holding New Hampshire back from making progress on issues critical to our families, our communities, and our economy.”

The announcement by Feltes came a day after the governor vetoed 10 bills approved by the Democratic-controlled state House and Senate, bringing his total to 23 this session.

Feltes claimed that Sununu is “the major roadblock to meaningful, inclusive progress for all workers, all families, and all small businesses in New Hampshire.”

Sununu has returned fire, at times slamming the Democratic majority in the State House, of which Feltes is a key member.

“What is also clear is that the Democrat’s agenda in New Hampshire has become more radical than any of us ever believed possible,” Sununu emphasized in May, as he announced his 2020 re-election bid.

Accompanying the announcement were quotes from three supporters of Feltes – state Rep. Safiya Wazir of Concord, Goffstown selectwoman Kelly Boyer and Democratic activist Debbie Butler.

“Dan understands the struggles young working families face in today’s economy,” Wazir said. “He is strongly committed to addressing the rising cost of child care, housing, and health care, finally passing paid family leave and advancing public education, including early childhood education.”

Supporters of Feltes noted that Wazir and Boyer were both listed on Volinsky’s original exploratory committee list.

Volinsky – who’s serving his second term on the state’s five-member Executive Council – included a list of more than 175 supporters as he announced his exploratory committee last week.

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

Besides Feltes and Volinsky, it’s possible that former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand, a 2016 and 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, may launch a third straight campaign for the Corner Office. Former state senator Molly Kelly of Harrisville, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, has not ruled out another run.

And some national and state Democrats are hopeful that Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who’s running this year for re-election to a second term steering New Hampshire’s largest city, would consider a 2020 gubernatorial bid.

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