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Facing potentially tough 2022 re-election, Hassan gets shoutout from VP Harris

  • Vice President Kamala Harris enters as motorcade Friday, April 23, 2021, at Laconia Municipal Airport in Gilford, N.H., on arrival to New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin—AP

  • Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., second from left, Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., left, and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, right, Friday, April 23, 2021, at Laconia Municipal Airport in Gilford, N.H., on arrival to New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin—AP

  • Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., as she arrives to the New Hampshire Electric Co-Op (NHEC), in Plymouth, N.H., Friday, April 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin—AP

  • Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., as she arrives to the New Hampshire Electric Co-Op (NHEC), in Plymouth, N.H., Friday, April 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin—AP

  • Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., second from left; Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., left; and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, right, Friday at Laconia Municipal Airport in Gilford. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

  • Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Andrew Hosmer, Mayor of Laconia, left, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., right, Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., obscured second from left, and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, center, Friday, April 23, 2021, at Laconia Municipal Airport in Gilford, N.H., on arrival to New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin—AP

  • Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Andrew Hosmer, Mayor of Laconia, left, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., right, Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., second from left, and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, center, Friday, April 23, 2021, at Laconia Municipal Airport in Gilford, N.H., on arrival to New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin—AP

For the Monitor
Published: 4/23/2021 2:56:44 PM

Vice President Kamala Harris repeatedly praised fellow Democrat and former Senate colleague Sen. Maggie Hassan on Friday, as Harris made her first visit to the key battleground state of New Hampshire since being sworn in on Jan. 20.

“You really are not only a leader of the great Granite State, you are a national leader on this and so many other issues,” Harris said at an event at the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative in Plymouth. The vice president was there to spotlight investments in broadband in President Joe Biden’s massive jobs and infrastructure package – formally known as the American Jobs Plan – that the administration aims to pass through Congress.

Hassan, who potentially faces a difficult re-election next year as the former governor runs for a second six-year term representing the state in the U.S. Senate, introduced Harris at the event.

Harris, who was elected to the Senate along with Hassan in 2016, called New Hampshire’s junior senator “my friend and former colleague.”

“I’ve seen her in rooms where there are cameras and I’ve seen her in rooms where there are no cameras and she is always fighting for New Hampshire. She has been one of the strongest voices in the United States Senate for the need to implement broadband for everyone with an emphasis on rural America,” the vice president said.

Harris thanked Hassan “for the leadership that you have been providing” and noted that “it was also on her recommendation that I came here today.”

Hassan and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, the senator’s successor in the Corner Office, both greeted Harris upon her arrival at the airport in Laconia.

Sununu is mulling a GOP challenge against Hassan next year. Former Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who was defeated by Hassan by a razor thin margin in her 2016 re-election bid, is also thought to be a potential contender.

The Senate is split 50/50 between the Democrats and the Republicans, but the Democrats control the majority due to the tie-breaking vote of  Harris through the vice president’s constitutional duty as president of the Senate.

That means the GOP needs a net gain of just one seat to win back the majority in the 2022 midterm elections. However, they’re defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs, including open seats in the crucial battlegrounds of North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

As they play plenty of defense, Republicans view Hassan, as well as Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Mark Kelly of Arizona, and Catherine Cortez Masto as vulnerable, and are targeting all four lawmakers.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the re-election arm of the Senate GOP, on Friday called Hassan “the most vulnerable Democrat incumbent in the 2022 cycle,” saying the vice president was “riding into town to try to prop up Senator Hassan’s flagging poll numbers. It won’t work.”




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