On the Trail: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker to make long-awaited N.H. visit

  • U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's annual Fall Gala, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Charlie Neibergall

For the Monitor
Published: 10/25/2018 6:44:27 PM

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, the high-profile Democrat from New Jersey, is Granite State bound. After trips to three of the four early voting states in the presidential primary and caucus calendar – Nevada in late August, Iowa earlier this month, and South Carolina last week – Booker will stop in New Hampshire on Sunday. It’s another sign that the senator appears to be gearing up to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The senator will be in Durham to headline a 1 p.m. get-out-the-vote event at the University of New Hampshire that’s being organized by the N.H. Young Democrats. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Molly Kelly and 1st Congressional District Democratic nominee Chris Pappas will be on the stage with Booker. Prior to the rally, he’ll be the main attraction at a fundraiser in Durham for the Young Democrats.

At 3 p.m., Booker and Pappas will help kick off a canvassing event at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign office in Portsmouth.

Booker later heads to the Upper Valley, where he’ll headline a 6 p.m. get-out-the-vote event at Dartmouth College. Second District Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster will join him on the stage. Two other events may be added to his Granite State itinerary.

This weekend on the N.H. campaign trail

GOP Gov. Chris Sununu will be campaigning in Nashua and Manchester. On Sunday, he’ll attend a re-election rally with New Hampshire’s Vietnamese community.

Kelly will speak to organizers and volunteers at a canvass kickoff in Nashua on Saturday morning. On Sunday, she’ll be at UNH in Durham for a rally with Sen. Cory Booker.

Kuster will rally activists at 1 p.m. on Saturday at a canvass kickoff in Keene. Later, she’ll speak at an Empowering Women rally at Keene State College. On Sunday, she’ll attend a canvass kickoff at 10 a.m. in Concord. Later, she’ll team up with Booker at 5 p.m. at a get-out-the-vote rally at Dartmouth College.

Second District GOP nominee and state Rep. Steve Negron will be launching door-knocking operations out of his Nashua offices Saturday. He’ll also be door knocking throughout the day. Negron will campaign at the Keene Pumpkin Festival on Sunday.

Pappas is in Laconia on Saturday at 10 a.m., speaking at a Democratic Party coordinated campaign office canvass kickoff before taking a walking tour through Laconia’s downtown businesses with state Rep. Charlie St. Clair. Pappas is in Rochester at 1 p.m. and Stratham at 3 p.m. for canvass kickoffs. On Sunday, he’s at Temple AdathYeshurun in Manchester for a candidates’ breakfast. At 1 p.m., Pappas joins Booker of New Jersey for a get-out-the-vote rally at UNH in Durham. He then visits the Portsmouth Democrats’ coordinated campaign office at 3 p.m. for a canvass kickoff.

First Congressional District GOP nominee Eddie Edwards will talk with customers at MaryAnn’s Diner in Derry on Saturday morning. Later, he’ll be at the GOP booth at the Derry downtown trick-or-treat booth. He’s also attending a meet-and-greet hosted by Rep. David Lundgren at Londonderry’s Orchard Christian Fellowship Church.

Merkley’s mission

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon returns to New Hampshire on Saturday. Merkley will be making his fifth trip this year to the first-in-the-nation primary state.

The progressive lawmaker, who was the only Senate Democrat in 2016 to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid, will join the League of Conservation Voters’ “GreenRoots” canvass at Throwback Brewery in North Hampton at 10 a.m. At 1 p.m., Merkley will be in Nashua, joining the N.H. Young Democrats for a canvass launch.

On Sunday, the Senator will team up with 2nd Congressional District Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster for a 10 a.m. canvass kickoff at the State Employees Union headquarters in Concord.

Merkley told the Monitor last month that he and his wife, Mary, will make a decision on a 2020 bid after the midterms.

“We’re going to wrestle with that right after the election and we’ll figure it out then and decide on what we’re going to do,” he said.

Ryan’s Red Arrow stop

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, a potential Democratic presidential contender, enjoyed an order of hotcakes as he sat down with the Monitor and NHTalkRadio.com at the Red Arrow Diner on Loudon Road in Concord. The interview took place minutes after Ryan teamed up with Kuster to talk with diners and potential voters.

Ryan said when it comes to deciding about 2020, he doesn’t have a timetable.

Ryan, who challenged former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leadership a couple of years ago, sounded a bit skeptical about Pelosi’s comment this week that if the Democrats win back control of the House, she’d be a “transitional” speaker.

“It sounds like a strategy she has to keep people in her corner,” he said.

And he added it’s critical “that we have a strong Midwest, blue-collar representation in our House leadership.”

Avenatti says ‘long knives’ are out for him

Michael Avenatti says when it comes to his potential bid for president, Republicans and even some Democrats are starting to take aim at him.

As the high-profile Los Angeles-based attorney and potential Democratic presidential contender was in New Hampshire on Monday, a judge in California ordered Avenatti to pay $4.85 million to an attorney who worked at his former law firm. The ruling held Avenatti personally liable in a lawsuit over back pay.

“We are going to appeal it. I think the judgment’s going to be thrown out. There are some significant problems with the judgment,” Avenatti said confidently in an interview at the Rockingham Democrats’ headquarters.

And he highlighted that “What I do find interesting is the long knives are out as it relates to coming after me from people on the right and some establishment Democrats and I think it just goes to show you that some people see me as a considerable threat and they should.”

Kuster lands support from business leaders

The Monitor was first to report that Kuster landed the backing of more than 70 business leaders from throughout the 2nd District. The congresswoman used the endorsements to highlight her efforts in support of the state’s small business community.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in the Granite State and if we can strengthen their growth, it will benefit communities and families in our state,” Kuster said. “I’m proud to receive the support of these leaders who are the pillars of our communities and are helping to build the economy and future of New Hampshire. There’s so much that we can do to create an environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can succeed and thrive and the valuable perspective of these business leaders will help inform the policies that will build a Granite State rich in opportunity for all residents.”

Kuster says she doesn’t pay attention to the polls

Democratic incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster’s up by double digits in the latest public opinion surveys in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District race, but she says she’s not paying attention to the polls.

“I don’t go by the polls but I go by the conversations in the diners,” the three-term congresswoman from Hopkinton told the Monitor on Tuesday at the Red Arrow Diner in Concord.

“We’re in the middle of our 30 diners in 30 days and knocking on doors, talking to voters. And I think my record is holding up, the work that I’ve done to bring people together,” she said.

Whether she really doesn’t pay attention to polls is debatable. But what isn’t debatable is that the latest surveys indicate Kuster’s the clear favorite with under two weeks to go until Election Day.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is returning to New Hampshire the weekend before Election Day

The independent Senator from Vermont will headline a get-out-the-youth-vote rally at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Nov. 4. That’s just two days before the Nov. 6 election. The noon-time event is being organized by the New Hampshire Youth Movement and Rights and Democracy.

Sanders is also scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. at a gathering at the Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester that’s being put together by the same two groups.

Sanders has been crisscrossing the country in recent weeks, headlining get-out-the-vote events in advance of the midterm elections.

But his upcoming return to the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House will spark more speculation about his 2020 intentions and whether Sanders will launch another bid for the Democratic nomination. He beat Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire’s 2016 Democratic primary, launching him into a marathon battle with the eventual presidential nominee.

Sanders was last in New Hampshire on Labor Day, when he keynoted the annual AFL-CIO breakfast for the fifth straight year.

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