From Paul Steinhauser in the 603 – what to watch:
With nearly the entire field of Democratic presidential contenders down in Miami this week for the first round of Democratic presidential primary debates, it was pretty quiet on the presidential campaign trail here in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire. But the parade of White House hopefuls campaigning in the Granite State picks up with a vengeance in the coming days, starting with Bernie Sanders and Seth Moulton on Saturday. With that in mind, here’s an abbreviated version of THE 603.
The morning after her strong debate performance, Sen. Kamala Harris of California landed the endorsement of Joe Keefe, a former NH Democratic Party chair and two-time Democratic nominee in the state’s First Congressional District. Keefe spotlighted that the senator and former California attorney general “knows how to prosecute the case against bad actors and to hold them accountable” The endorsement was one of dozens in the early primary and caucus voting states – as well as her home state of California – that Harris unveiled on Friday. And the Concord Monitor and SeacoastOnline learned that Harris will return to New Hampshire on July 14.
Praise from Kuster
Four-term Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) remains neutral in the Democratic presidential primary race. But Kuster had some nice things to say this week about former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who for six years served with Kuster on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Williamson on his mind
Former state Sen. Burt Cohen’s a longtime member of Bernie Sanders’ steering committee in New Hampshire. And Cohen, who spent 14 years in the state Senate and who served as the chamber’s majority leader, was a Sanders delegate at the 2016 Democratic convention in Philadelphia. But THE 603 learned earlier this week that New Castle resident and radio host will be co-hosting a house party next weekend (7/6) for presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. While Cohen says he’s interested in Williamson, he emphasized that he remains neutral for now as the 24-candidate battle for the Democratic nomination progresses.
THE 603: TWEET
Hours before he appeared on the debate stage Wednesday night, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey weighed in on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire’s nomination of state Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to serve as the next chief justice of the state Supreme Court. The nomination has been criticized by some groups dedicated to protecting reproductive rights as they characterized MacDonald as anti-abortion. Two hours before the start of MacDonald’s nomination hearing in front of the state Executive Council, Booker tweeted that “This is troubling. New Hampshire deserves a Chief Justice who will recognize reproductive freedom as health care. I urge Granite Staters to speak out this week as the Executive Council considers this nomination.”
Who needs Miami
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock – who entered the White House race just six weeks ago and didn’t reach the thresholds to make this week’s first round of presidential primary debates – made his case instead directly to voters in the first two states that kick off the primary and caucus calendar. After headlining a televised town hall on Wednesday night on local TV in Iowa, he did the same thing on Thursday night in New Hampshire
Holding out hope
A day before the Democrats faced off in Miami for the first round of primary debates, GOP presidential primary challenger and former two-term Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – during a stop in NH - held out hope he’ll be able to face off on the debate stage against President Donald Trump. But Weld quipped that if not, he could face-off with Alec Baldwin.
Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns across the state this weekend, and he’ll once again be joined at a bunch of his stops by good friend and campaign co-chair Ben Cohen – of Ben and Jerry’s fame! On Saturday the senator from Vermont marches with supporters at the Nashua Pride parade (1:30pm), headlines the opening of his campaign’s Nashua field office (4:30pm), and keynotes the Hillsborough County Democrats annual grassroots awards dinner (6:00pm). On Sunday he teams up with Cohen for ice cream socials in Rochester (1pm), Hampton (3pm), and Windham (5pm).
Rep. Seth Moulton’s also in NH this weekend – attending a roundtable Saturday with the NH Stonewall Democrats at Noon at the Nashua Public Library.
Delaney hits the century mark
Then-Rep. John Delaney of Maryland made his first presidential campaign trip to New Hampshire soon after launching his White House bid in July of 2017 – just six months into Trump’s presidency. This upcoming week Delaney makes his 20th trip to the Granite State – and on Tuesday he’ll hold his 100th public event in New Hampshire.
The Joe Biden campaign took to Twitter on Tuesday to tout that they now have 25 staffers on the ground in the Granite State.
TWEET: That’s not bad, considering the former vice president launched his White House bid just two months ago. Booker’s campaign told THE 603 they’re closing in on 30 staffers in the state. And while not giving a number, the Harris campaign shared with THE 603 that they have “a robust paid organizing presence across the state” and “will continue to expand throughout the summer.” The Warren and Sanders campaigns are also believed to have healthy campaign staffs in NH, but also wouldn’t share a number at this time. Other campaigns with legitimate manpower in NH include Gillibrand, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, O’Rourke, and Delaney (apologies if I missed someone).
LISTEN: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld on ‘On Background,’ the NHTalkRadio.com program that’s all about the #FITN presidential primary.
LISTEN: Gov. Bill Weld was also the guest on the inaugural edition of ‘Common Cents,’ a new interview series with the presidential candidates that focuses mostly on economic, fiscal, and pocketbook matters.
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