Today, my wife Erin and I are excited to announce that we’re strongly considering a run for Governor of New Hampshire.
Both Erin and I grew up in working class families. My dad spent his entire adult life working in the same, un-air conditioned furniture factory. My mom worked multiple-part time jobs while raising four kids. My parents instilled in me the values of hard work, honesty, and the belief that we’re all in this together.
For almost a decade, I worked as a legal aid lawyer for New Hampshire Legal Assistance. There, I did community organizing and represented low-middle income Granite State families, seniors, and veterans often up against big bureaucracy and big corporations. It afforded me the privilege of helping make a difference for many folks facing long odds and economic injustice, some who never had anyone in their corner. And it gave me the honor of helping give a bit more meaning to the words “equal justice under law”.
In 2014, Erin and I made the decision that I should run for State Senate as a way to make a broader positive difference. Working together, we’ve gotten a lot done. That work has been based on that fundamental believe that in order to move New Hampshire forward, we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.
Unfortunately, today, people are getting left behind in New Hampshire. We have crises on everything from child protection, to opioid addiction and mental health, to drinking water, to affordable housing, to education funding, to attracting and retaining the skilled workforce of tomorrow, to combatting climate change by advancing the clean energy jobs of tomorrow right here in the Granite State. Along the way, everyday Granite Staters are getting left behind while corporate special interests are getting further and further ahead. Our campaign would be about standing up for everyday Granite Staters, all across our state, by building an economy that works for everyone. This economy should work for you whether you’re a public school teacher, or you own your family’s ski resort, or you’re a small business owner struggling with property taxes. It must work not just today, but well into the future when our two young daughters will be working and raising families of their own. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be successful.
This legislative session we tried to address many of these concerns, but Governor Sununu has repeatedly vetoed critical pieces of legislation, joyfully claiming that he’s going veto everything we send to him. Governor Sununu’s record number of vetoes are holding New Hampshire back from making progress on issues critical to our families, our communities, and our economy. From vetoing bipartisan legislation on paid family leave, to clean energy, to campaign finance reform, to emergency support for our opioid and mental health treatment providers, to recently vetoing an entire state budget with over $200 million in property tax relief, simply because he didn’t get even more tax breaks for out-of-state corporations. This partisanship, this refusal to compromise for broader positive change, and this unrelenting support for corporate special interests is what is wrong with politics. Each and every day it is becoming clearer and clearer that the major roadblock to meaningful, inclusive progress for all workers, all families, and all small businesses in New Hampshire is one person: Governor Chris Sununu.
While the current governor began his reelection campaign for a third term several months ago, and he is well-financed by corporate special interests, I have a never ending belief in the power of real, grassroots activism, including small dollar contributions.
Erin and I will make our final decision on whether or not I run for Governor at the end of the summer. In the meantime, we will continue to listen and learn from people across New Hampshire about how to move our state forward for our children, our families, and our communities. If we hear from Granite Staters and believe that the best way we can continue to serve the public is in the office of Governor, then we’ll take that leap with you by our side.
And, regardless of what office anyone runs for, please remember the truth of the words of Justice Brandeis: “The most important political office is that of private citizen.” Not governor, not state senator, not state representative. Private citizen. Please — keep standing up and speaking out. We need you and your voice now, more than ever.