THE 603 wishes you a very happy, healthy & productive New Year - so what's new? 
Paul Steinhauser in New Hampshire has 5 things you need to know: 


  • NH’s longtime Democratic Party chair takes aim at likely presidential contender Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington

  • Castro’s Jan. 16 return to NH comes four days after he’s expected to announce his candidacy for president

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown’s dialing top Granite State Democrats

  • Warren announcement could set up blistering battle with Bernie Sanders for NH primary

  • New push to add firepower to endless fight to keep NH primary first in the nation

Bad blood
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee – a likely Democratic presidential contender –returns to the first-in-the-nation primary state later this month. But longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley appears anything but thrilled about the visit. Inslee, a champion of environmental causes, will headline an event on January 21 in Concord for the League of Conservation Voters. Other stops are expected during the governor’s trip to the Granite State. But in a rare move, Buckley publicly criticized the potential White House hopeful. “I look forward to hearing from Gov. Inslee his reasons for abandoning New Hampshire in 2018 as chair of the DGA,” Buckley said.

Concord Monitor

If you need more proof that Castro will declare his candidacy for president…
…then here it is - the former San Antonio mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term returns to New Hampshire on January 16, four days after he makes a major announcement in his native Texas. Why would Castro quickly travel to the first-in-the-nation primary state if he wasn’t launching a White House campaign. Castro, who last month announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, will headline ‘Politics and Eggs’ when he returns. The speaking series at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College is a must stop for White House hopefuls. Castro made three trips to New Hampshire in 2018.

WATCH: Castro, during his last trip to New Hampshire – in October – argued that "I don't think we're going to beat Donald Trump by trying to be Donald Trump.”
Is NH a ‘must win’ state for both Warren and Sanders?
Monday’s announcement by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts that she was setting up a presidential exploratory committee could set the stage for a bruising battle for the nomination with another populist firebrand who also hails from a state that neighbors New Hampshire: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. And a primary with the senators from neighboring states to New Hampshire would also set up a fist fight for home field advantage.

Fox News

Coming Soon 
Potential Democratic presidential contender Tom Steyer is headed to New Hampshire in less than two weeks.
The billionaire environmentalist and progressive activist, who’s also a leader of the push to impeach Trump, will hold a town hall in the state Jan. 17. Steyer, who made two visits to New Hampshire in 2018, is holding town halls in key states to highlight his newly unveiled political platform.

Declared presidential candidate John Delaney returns to New Hampshire on Jan. 18. The Maryland Democrat, who just finished up his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, will hold a meet-and-greet with the New Hampshire Young Democrats in Manchester. The next day, he will mingle with activists at meet-and-greets in Hanover and Amherst. Delaney’s made more than a dozen swings through the Granite State since declaring his candidacy in July 2017, just six months into Donald Trump’s presidency.
Brown dialing top Democrats
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio hasn’t visited New Hampshire since 2014, but he’s been reaching out to some top Granite State Democrats in recent weeks as he seriously considers a 2020 run for the White House. Brown, who last month was re-elected to a third term representing the Buckeye State in the U.S. Senate, has raised his national profile since the midterms with a bunch of interviews in well-read publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the New Yorker. But just as important, he’s calling leading Democratic lawmakers and rainmakers in the early voting states in the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

Concord Monitor
Reaching out, courting, and staffing up
Longtime New Hampshire lawmaker Lou D’Allesandro says he’s been receiving a lot of out-of-state calls lately. “It seems like everybody running for president is in the Christmas spirit, because they’re all calling and wishing us happy holidays,” the Democrat, who’s known as the ‘dean’ of the state Senate, told Fox News. D’Allesandro listed roughly a dozen potential White House hopefuls who’ve reached out to him over the past couple months.

Fox News
Who’s in, who’s about to get in, and who’s visiting
NHPR’s The Exchange kicked off the new year with an hour devoted to the 2020 election and the first-in-the-nation primary.


NH Trump backers back off bid to have NHGOP support the President in primary
Two of President Donald Trump’s longtime key supporters in New Hampshire have decided not to push forward with a proposal to change the state party’s bylaws to require party officers to endorse a sitting president who may be challenged in a first-in-the-nation primary.

Keeping NH first 
State Rep. Renny Cushing wants to add some more fire power to the endless fight by Granite Staters to safeguard New Hampshire’s cherished status as the home of the first primary in the race for the White House. The longtime Democratic lawmaker from Hampton introduced a bill to create a permanent first-in-the-nation presidential primary commission.

Concord Monitor
And an editorial here on NH's place in the nation The Keene Sentinel
Dumbledore and Sandler
In a speech that was five times longer that his first inaugural address two years ago, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu made repeated bids for bipartisanship with a new state legislature that’s controlled by the Democrats. And the governor also quoted from Adam Sandler and Dumbledore, the wizard from the Harry Potter books.

Associated Press
Union Leader

And finally, from next door 
Interesting column in Cape Ann's award winning 
Gloucester Daily Times

Latest from 
2019 will see the launch of a whole sleuth of new newsrooms thanks to the work of Please make your New Year's resolution a commitment to support journalism. 

Thanks as always for sharing with friends and colleagues, please point anyone and everyone to sign up 
here. That's all we've got, have a great weekend. You can follow Paul Steinhauser, NH's most versatile political news reporter, here, and contact THE 603 co-founder & publisher, Kieran Baker, here.  

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