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On the trail: Ryan drops out of race for White House as Yang expands N.H. staff

  • New Hampshire Rep. Kris Schultz (with hat) and Maura Willing (right) have their photo taken with U.S. Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-N.Y) at the Revelstoke Coffee and Tea in downtown Concord on Friday, February 15, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, right, meets with members of the Concord-based Kent Street Coalition in Eagle Square outside Revelstoke Coffee, Thursday, Sept. 5 Ethan DeWitt / Monitor file

  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke to a jam-packed crowd inside Revelstoke Coffee in downtown Concord on Thursday morning. Paul Steinhauser

  • Tim Ryan at the Red Arrow Diner in Concord last October during a stop with Congresswoman Annie Kuster. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • Andrew Yang makes a campaign stop at Revelstoke Coffee in Concord. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Published: 10/24/2019 6:13:50 PM

One of Andrew Yang’s campaign stops during his jam-packed three-day swing through New Hampshire this week was Revelstoke Coffee in Concord.

The year-old café on Main Street across from the State House is becoming a frequent stop for the candidates when they’re in the capital city.

Yang has visited multiple times. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota held an event there a week ago. A month before that it was Tom Steyer shaking the well-caffeinated hands of potential voters.

Co-owner Alex Stoyle tells the Monitor that more than a half dozen candidates have held events at the café. Republican primary challengers have made their way into the café too, including former Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts and former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford.

Stoyle noted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York – who ended her campaign in August – was the first White House hopeful to visit.

“All of sudden we started getting calls from political campaigns and one thing led to another and it seems like they starting to come a lot more,” he said.

“I joke that we’ve become the unofficial campaign headquarters for about five or six campaigns at this point. The staffers all come in here for their coffee and they’re in here every day working,” he added. “They have all reached out to us so far.”

Klobuchar state director Scott Merrick is a frequenter.

“Revelstoke is a fairly new Concord coffee shop that has embraced the spirit of convening Granite Staters from all walks of life over a common purpose – staying caffeinated,” Merrick said. “Alex and his team have encouraged presidential candidates to drop in by offering a dollar-off coffee to candidates, and we appreciated their gracious hospitality.”

Revelstoke co-owner Lyndsey Cole said they consider their café “a public space” and that “the goal is that we’ll meet everyone.”

Stoyle noted that they’re staying neutral and joked that, “we’re only going to vote for a candidate who comes and visits us.”

First in, now out

Rep. Tim Ryan was one of the first Democratic White House hopefuls to visit New Hampshire in the 2020 cycle.

But he didn’t make it to the finish line.

Low on campaign cash, not resonating in the polls, and far from qualifying for the autumn debates, the longtime congressman from northeast Ohio who spent his law school years in Concord ended his presidential campaign Thursday, with more than three months to go until the February primary.

In a video to supporters, an email, and on social media, the regular-guy, union-friendly candidate highlighted his Midwestern roots and heartland mentality.

“I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people of our country: the workers who have been left behind, the businesses who have been left behind, the people who need health care or aren’t getting a quality education, or are saddled by tremendous debt.”

Even though his bid failed, Ryan highlighted that “I’m proud of this campaign because I believe we’ve done that. We’ve given voice to the forgotten communities and the forgotten people in the United States.”

Ryan went to law school at the Franklin Pierce University School of Law, which is now known as UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law. During his time on the Granite State campaign trail, he would highlight his years in the state.

He started flirting with a White House run during trips to New Hampshire in the spring and summer of 2017, speaking at state and local Democratic Party dinners, renewing old friendships and making new ones with Democratic elected officials, party hierarchy, and political activists. Despite the numerous visits this year after formally jumping into the race, Ryan never resonated in the polls as he was overshadowed by much better known and better financed candidates.

In an interview in August with the Monitor, Ryan spotlighted his retail politicking efforts, saying “we come here to New Hampshire and do the backyard parties with 40, 50, 60 people and we come out with four, five, six volunteers saying ‘I’m with you and I want to help you build this thing out.’ So we’re just going to keep going.”

At the time, he downplayed not making the debate stage and emphasized that “people from New Hampshire deserve to hear from all of these candidates and they’re going to keep hearing from me.”

But two months later, Ryan’s out.

He said he’d run for re-election to his U.S. House seat and advisers said Ryan would not endorse another 2020 Democratic presidential contender at this time.

Yang expanding N.H. staff

While Ryan’s gone, Yang remains very much in the hunt for the nomination.

A senior Yang campaign adviser told the Monitor the campaign was in the midst of a hiring spree in the Granite State. Yang’s team in the crucial early-voting state stood at around 15 at the beginning of the month, but the adviser said they planned to add at least 10 hires by early November.

The tech entrepreneur, once the longest of long-shots, has seen his campaign soar the past six months, fueled by his unconventional style and his push for what he calls the “Freedom Dividend,” a universal basic income system that would pay all adult Americans $1,000 per month. The plan would help Americans cope with the loss of jobs due to the increased impact of automation and artificial intelligence.

Yang – who has consistently made it onto the national debate stage while other contenders have not – noted that New Hampshire’s crucial to his effort, saying as he has in the past that he needs a strong finish in both Iowa, which kicks off the presidential nominating calendar, and in the Granite State.

He warned that without good showings in both states, “the odds of it making it the whole way to the White House go down a lot.”

He made a splash here early in the campaign, giving a New Hampshire family $1,000 a month, which they have been using to pay down their bills.

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