From Paul Steinhauser in the 603 what to watch:

  • Bullock makes it to NH, calls DNC’s debate criteria ‘problematic’

  • Holder keeps door open to possible future White House run

  • Jill Biden opens about a big decision she’s “struggling” over

  • Cheering on President Trump

  • Finally, some new poll numbers in NH

Before we get to the news, we wanted to thank-you for reading The 603. As many of you know local journalism is struggling nationwide; here in NH we are fortunate to have a vibrant media. The aim of this newsletter is to inform, in an impartial manner, everything that is pertinent to the politics surrounding the Presidential primaries in the Granite State. We need your help; we are now at almost 10,000 subscribers and if you can please share this newsletter and point people to subscribe to it here, it will make a huge difference as we ramp up for what is probably the most interesting campaign in our lifetime. Thank you. 


Bullock, on first trip to NH since launching his campaign five weeks ago, calls DNC debate criteria ‘problematic’

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock won’t be on the stage when the first round of Democratic presidential primary debates takes place on consecutive nights next week in Miami. Bullock, who was the second to last candidate to jump into the White House race, failed to reach either of the Democratic National Committee's thresholds to qualify for the debates. The governor, campaigning in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire, said on Friday that while he was “disappointed” he didn’t make the cut, he's qualified for the second round of debates – which will be held late next month in Detroit. And he took aim at the DNC, calling its criteria “problematic.” It was Bullock’s first trip to NH since launching his campaign five weeks ago. While he’s made multiple stops in Iowa over the past five weeks, Bullock emphasized that the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state is also “a significant priority” and vowed “you’re going to be seeing a lot of me.”
Fox News 

WATCH: here and here

Bullock passes on taking a whack at Sununu

The two-term Democratic governor headed to Concord’s annual Market Days festival late Friday afternoon after doing media interviews in Manchester. It was his first public stop during a jam-packed two-day swing in NH. Accompanied by state Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes – Bullock drew a crowd as he walked past a bouncy castle in front of the New Hampshire’s State House. He came up to the local Democrats’ booth, which showcased a photo of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu next to a carnival strength test with the words “Veto Sununu” painted atop the bell. The Democrats offered Bullock, head of the National Governor’s Association, a whack. He declined.
Concord Monitor


Bullock makes first campaign hire in NH

Rich Thuma’s now on board as Bullock’s state director in New Hampshire. He’s a Granite State political veteran, steering Gray Chenoweth’s Executive Council District 4 campaign last year, and serving as a regional organizing director in NH for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 cycle. Also with the Montana governor on Friday was his senior national campaign adviser Nick Baldick, who’s also no stranger to the Granite State. He served as NH state director for President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and then-Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 victory in the first-in-the-nation primary.

Buttigieg doubles staff in NH

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign on Friday announced they’re doubling their staff in New Hampshire, from six to a dozen. The new additions: Victoria Williams and Amelia Matier as deputy state directors, Noah Dion as organizing directors, Zoe Meeken and Liz McLeod as deputy organizing directors, and Laura Gelb as operations director. WMUR The move comes as the one-time long-shot for the nomination turned serious contender has picked up the pace on fundraising. Fox News

Holder keeps door open to future White House run

Former Attorney General Eric Holder made a quick swing through New Hampshire this week, as part of his push to bring an end to partisan gerrymandering. But while he’s closed the door to a 2020 presidential bid, he’s keeping his options open for a potential bid down the road. Holder, who worked alongside then-Vice President Joe Biden under President Barack Obama, also weighed in on Biden’s current controversy, and more
Concord Monitor
Fox News

WATCH: Holder on Biden and here
WATCH: Holder a White House run 
LISTEN: Holder’s interview with

Jill Biden opens up during Seacoast stop about big decision she faces

Jill Biden’s facing a dilemma. Does the wife of former vice president Joe Biden keep teaching or join her husband full time on the campaign trail as he runs for the White House? The former second lady of the United States opened up about the upcoming decision she must make as she spoke with administrators, teachers, and students during a stop Wednesday at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth. “I’m really struggling. I have to sign my contract by July 31. Do I keep teaching? Am I out on the campaign trail full time?” Biden emphasized.  “It’s a really tough decision because this is what I’ve done the last…34 years of my life. How do you put that aside…except I believe Joe should be president. “And she noted that her husband’s “waiting for my decision.”
Seacoast Online
Eagle Tribune

Moulton’s PFAS pledge

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Seth Moulton says if he wins the White House, the first thing he’d do to combat water contamination is “hold the corporations responsible.” The congressman from Massachusetts and Marine combat veteran, who served four tours of duty in Iraq, was in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire on Monday, to talk about PFAS contamination. Moulton heard from state lawmakers and voters in Merrimack, which has been hard hit by water contamination.
Seacoast Online

Moulton takes aim at the DNC

Moulton criticized the "political establishment" after he missed making the debate stage. He argued that  "a bunch of people in Washington" won't pick party’s nominee.
Fox News 

Cheering on the president

The TV at Ryan’s Place diner in Epping, wedged between a “We Support the Troops” flag, the star-spangled banner and a picture of two fighter jets, was tuned in on Tuesday night to the rally in Florida where President Trump formally kicked-off his 2020 re-election campaign. As the president touted that federal agents have deported members of MS-13 by the thousands, Nancy Kindler, sitting in a red upholstered booth some 1,900 miles from the Mexican border, let out a scream of approval. “Yes! Woo! He tells it like it is!” shouted Kindler to the three dozen supporters gathered for a watch party.
Concord Monitor
Seacoast Online

New NH poll provides more evidence Warren’s on the rise

The first new public opinion polling in nearly a month in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary indicates former Vice President Joe Biden remains the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, with Sen. Bernie Sanders a strong second. But a CBS News/YouGov online survey also reveals what other polls the past six weeks have indicated -- a steady rise for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Biden stands at 33 percent support in the survey, far ahead of the rest of the historically large field of nearly two dozen candidates. Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who crushed eventual nominee Hillary Clinton by more than 20 points in the 2016 Democratic primary, is second at 20 percent. Warren stands in third, at 17 percent, with South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris of California at 7 percent. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas is at 4 percent, with Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey at 3 percent. Everyone else registered at 1 percent or less.
Seacoast Online 

Warren wins straw poll

Remember that NH Progressive Summit straw poll we previewed in last week’s edition of THE 603. Warren grabbed 34.6 percent of the vote, according to Zandra Rick Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, which organized the event. Sen. Bernie Sanders came in second at 24 percent, with Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii each grabbing six percent. Some 250 people took part in the summit, which took place last Saturday at Manchester Community College. The news, as it broke on Twitter last weekend.

Days of Action

With 500 days until the 2020 general election, the New Hampshire Democratic Party highlights that its kicking off a statewide weekend of action starting Saturday. They spotlight that they’re holding more than 10 events across the state and on social media, where they’ll be “reaching out to Granite Staters and asking them to commit to volunteer - no matter who the Democratic nominee for president is.

Coming Up

With nearly the entire field Democratic presidential contenders at a major cattle call in South Carolina on Saturday, Bullock pretty much has NH to himself. Also campaigning in the Granite state – former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who’s launched a GOP primary challenge against President Trump. Weld will speak at the New Hampshire Free State Project's Porcfest in Lancaster at 10 am. At 2pm he’ll attend the Portsmouth PRIDE festivities at Strawbery Banke. Staffers from a bunch of the Democratic presidential campaigns will also be out in force at the PRIDE event.

The race is on

Retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc is expected to announce a Republican run for Senate on Monday, multiple sources close to Bolduc told WMUR and  the Concord Monitor on Friday. Bolduc’s scheduled to make what’s being billed as a “special announcement” at VFW Post 531 in Concord at 11 a.m. The 36-year Army veteran who served 10 tours of duty in Afghanistan has become a leading voice on veterans issues and mental health, specifically veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Stratham resident, who’s never run for public office before, would become the first Republican to launch a 2020 campaign for the seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor. The former governor announced in January that she would run for a third six-year term representing New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate. Shaheen raised $1.4 million in campaign cash during the first three months of this year, as she ramps up her re-election effort. Buldoc may soon have some company in the race for the Republican Senate nomination. Former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien told the Concord Monitor on Friday that he will have a “fairly big announcement on July 23.” O’Brien noted that he’s “quite happy with all the support I’m getting” as he moves toward a decision. Asked about Buldoc, O’Brien said “I welcome his participation.”
Concord Monitor
Union Leader

LISTEN: Interviews with Seth Moulton and Eric Holder on the latest edition of ‘On Background,’ the program hosted by Chris Ryan and yours truly that’s all about the #FITN presidential primary.

LISTEN: NHPR’s ‘The Exchange’ goes in-depth on the race for the White House.


Thanks as always for sharing - and click here to follow Paul. Have a great weekend.

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