Know the Candidates: New Hampshire Midterm Elections
September 30, 2018
The highly-awaited 2018 midterm elections are less than two months away, and with it comes a referendum of sorts on President Trump’s policies from the last year and a half. New Hampshire, a battleground state, tends to receive a lot of media attention during presidential election years. However, midterm elections’ importance can rival that of presidential elections, as Congress, the nation’s legislative body, has the power to enable or override the president.
In the gubernatorial race, incumbent Chris Sununu faced no opposition from fellow Republicans during the fall primaries. Sununu is an MIT graduate, Salem native, son of the former Governor John H. Sununu, and was first elected as governor in 2016. Though his status as the incumbent provides him the upper hand, he narrowly won the 2016 election by a margin of less than one percent, showing how truly polarized Granite State politics have become. His priorities include a balanced state budget, expanding kindergarten programs, providing clean water, and fighting the opioid epidemic.
In November, he faces the Democrat Molly Kelly, a five-term state senator educated at Keene State College. Kelly comes from a working-class background, and her key issues include LGBTQ+ rights, common sense gun laws, and reproductive rights for women. Kelly will try to win the race against Sununu, the incumbent with a 52% approval rating but has found considerable support so far.
In addition, the Libertarian party has a spot on the ballot for the first time since 1996 with candidate Jilletta Jarvis who plans to limit taxes and promote small businesses if elected.
District 2 Congressional Race
In New Hampshire’s Congressional District 2, which includes Holderness, incumbent Ann (Annie) McLane Kuster ran unopposed in the primary and now faces Republican Steve Negron and Libertarian Justin O’Donnell.
A Concord native, Kuster has held office since 2013 and started her career as an attorney with degrees from Dartmouth College and Georgetown University Law Center. She works to eliminate corruption in the federal government and improve access to higher education and healthcare.
Kuster faces Negron, a current representative in the state house, who has lived in Nashua for almost three decades. He is a retired Air Force officer and the owner of a general contracting group, with degrees from Texas Christian University and Western New England University. His website claims that his priorities are stopping illegal immigration, caring for veterans, balancing budgets responsibly, and securing public safety.
On the Libertarian side, there’s O’Donnell, the twenty-eight-year-old army veteran from Nashua. He wants to impose term limits on Capitol Hill politicians, make health care more affordable, and nullify bureaucratic regulations.
District 2 State Senate Race
Holderness is also located in State Senate District 2, and the November ballot will feature Democratic candidate Bill Bolton and Republican Bob Giuda.
Incumbent Bob Giuda, the Republican, lives in Warren and is a graduate of the US Naval Academy. A Marine Corps officer and pilot, Guida has also worked for the FBI and United Airlines. His main focuses are building jobs, stopping the opioid epidemic, and holding the government more accountable for its actions.
Guida faces Democrat Bill Bolton, a Plymouth native who has worked in local government as a State Registrar and Director of the Division of Vital Records Administration. He is focused on expanding broadband, women’s health rights, education, and stopping addiction.
This year, Holderness community members will be casting votes for a multitude of candidates, each with their own story and priorities. However, the most important part of this election day is not who wins and loses, but the act of voting. Democrat, Republican, Independent Libertarian, or anything else, casting a vote for your future representatives is your civic duty and the best way to support American democracy.