Top Democrat Volinsky makes big move toward running for governor

  • Andru Volinsky talks to reporters after an Executive Council vote in February. The Concord Democrat announced Monday the formation of a 175-member exploratory committee on a potential run for governor in 2020. Ethan DeWitt / Monitor file

For the Monitor
Published: 7/1/2019 11:07:09 AM

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky took a big step toward a gubernatorial run in 2020.

The Democrat from Concord on Monday announced the formation of a 175-member exploratory committee – a first official move toward the launch of a gubernatorial bid to try and unseat two-term Gov. Chris Sununu.

“The challenges facing New Hampshire are immense, whether it’s our school-funding crisis or the growing gap between rich and poor, or the existential threat of climate change,” Volinsky wrote.

Volinsky has remained a vocal critic of the Republican governor.

“Chris Sununu has shown he is not the right person to guide our state through these challenges,” Volinsky said. “I appreciate the broad range of support from the members of the exploratory committee.”

Volinsky said the committee – made up of community leaders, activists and elected officials from across the state – will “convene conversations to gauge grassroots enthusiasm” for his “signature priorities of school funding, taking aggressive climate action, enhancing access to health care, and bridging economic inequality.”

The formation of the exploratory committee comes a few weeks after Volinsky announced he raised $128,034 so far this year in campaign cash, with $124,038 cash on hand.

Volinsky told the Monitor in April he was seriously considering a run for governor in 2020.

Volinsky, a 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 plaintiffs 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 was elected to New Hampshire’s five-member Executive Council in 2016 and was re-elected last year.

Volinsky’s not the only high-profile Democrat considering a 2020 bid for the corner office.

New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes – the three-term state senator from Concord – is also likely to launch a campaign for governor in the coming months.

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.

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




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