Good luck Tiff
Rep Steve Vaillancourt
My post-primary analysis for the New Hampshire State Senate is that Democrats pick up six seats, falling one short of a 12-12 split. I’m going out on a limb with only one of my predictions. I’m calling the race in Nashua and towns to the west for the former senator Gilmour over the Republican incumbent Luther. However, Democrats could pull even if they take either the District 24 seat (Hampton incumbent Republican Nancy Stiles against former Senate President Bev Hollingworth) or District 9 (I have Republican Andy Sanborn, of Bedford, a favorite although both Democrats and Republicans are telling me Lee Nyquist could pull a surprise).
Now is as good a time as any to go through these district by district. The numbers noted here reflect how far each district tilts to either party (with 50 as a tie), but individuals must now be factored into considerations, not to mention top of the ticket effect. Until recently, I had counted on neutrality at the top of the ticket. Now, I think we have to give Obama at least a slight advantage (maybe more than slight); that should benefit Democrats in down ballot races, especially where Obama is expected to run strongly, the North Country, Connecticut Valley, and the Seacoast for example (certainly NOT Bedford; that’s why I’m still going with Sanborn).
District 1—51.15-48.85 Democratic edge
Democrat Jeff Woodburn
Until a few weeks ago, I had Littleton Republican Debi Warner holding onto this seat (the Gallus seat), but Obama continues to run so far ahead in the North County that there should be just enough coattails to propel Woodburn to a win in what is the most evenly balanced district in the state. Try as they might to redistrict this to get in more Republican voters, GOP senators just couldn’t do it. The North Country may be forever lost to the GOP. The good news (for Republicans) is that there are less and less people up there.
District 2—51.80-48.20 Republican edge
Republican Jeanie Forrester
Republican redistricters were faced with the nearly impossible task of keeping this district Republican as Democrats dominate Grafton County more and more. Robert Lamb, of Holderness, can not be ruled out here but would have to be considered a slight underdog unless he outworks and outspends Forrester. About the only thing she did wrong in her first term was screw Meredith by accepting the House redistricting plan; if I
remember that, you can be sure Democratic operatives will as well, but she still should win.
District 3—54.21-45.79 Republican edge
Republican Jeb Bradley
With the Conway area turning more and more Democratic, this district isn’t as Republican as it once was, but it’s still plenty Republican, especially as long as Jeb Bradley is the candidate. This won’t be close. Oh yes, see…I almost forgot…the opponent is Jeffery Ballard, of Brookfield.
District 4—56.92-43.08 Democratic edge
Democrat David Watters
This is pretty much an entirely new district. In fact, when I was thinking about the five Democratic incumbents and adding a pick up of five other seats, I nearly forgot about this. Republican redistricters basically gave this away to Democrats, and State Rep Watters, of Dover, will certainly take it over Republican mover and shaker Phyllis Woods who is much too much a right winger for this area…not that there’s anything wrong with that. Is there?
District 5—63.43-36.57 Democratic edge
Democrat David Pierce
Republican redistricters stacked and packed Democrats into this area and with Matt Houde not running again, there’s no way Hanover State Rep David Pierce will lose to Claremont Rep Joe Osgood. I break my rule of never saying never in this one. Never (at least not in 2012) will a Republican win here.
District 6—53.10-46.90 Republican edge
Republican Sam Cataldo
Prior to redistricting, this seat leaned Democratic (despite Fenton Groen’s win in the Republican sweep of 2012). Now, it’s fairly safe for a Republican. Dick Green would have been a surer bet, but Rep. Sam Cataldo shocked many of us by winning the primary, and while it’s not a done deal, the addition of Alton makes this area especially tough for a Democrat. A better candidate than Richard Leonard might be able to pull it off, but the fact that many Democrats I talk with don’t even know Leonard should mean Cataldo, who is working very hard, should win easily. Just telling it like it is.
District 7—51.53-48.47 Republican edge
Democrat Andrew Hosmer
Although this refigured district (Laconia and much of the Lakes Region) tilts Republican, no serious analyst thinks that Joshua Youssef can carry is baggage over the finish line. Each day seems to bring a new headline about Youssef. We don’t need to go into them here. Suffice it to say that like Delaware in the 2010 U.S. Senate race, the Republican primary here guarantees a Democratic general election win. This district could well go Republican in 2014 (with Youssef gone), but not this year. Just so you don’t think I have a dog in this fight, I wouldn’t even know Youssef if I ran into him…I only know what I read in the papers and am pledged to honesty here.
District 8—51.53-48.47 Republican edge
Republican Bob O’Dell
Hey, Bob O’Dell won here handily when it was rather Democratic the past several years. Now that it’s slightly Republican, give no chance to Christopher Wallenstien (who?!) of Bennington.
District 9—53.63-46.37 Republican edge
Republican Andy Sanborn
It’s true; this district isn’t as solidly Republican as it was back in the days of Sheila Roberge. It’s true; Andy Sanborn is new to the district and had a tough primary fight with Rep. Ken Hawkins. It’s also true that Democrat lawyer Lee Nyquist, of New Boston, is well known and well funded. Given all that, as I noted previously, some see this going Democratic. I’m not one of them. The Bedford turnout should swamp Nyquist (but I wouldn’t make this a gun-to-your-head prediction; in other words, an upset is not totally out of the question).
District 10—62.18-37.82 Democratic edge
Democrat Molly Kelly
Let’s see? Who’s the sacrificial Republican lamb…I’ll have to look it up. It’s not former Republican Senator Eaton; that’s in itself is an indication of just how Democratic this district has become. It’s Richard Foote, of Swanzey.
District 11—53.67-46.33 Republican edge
Republican Senate President Peter Bragdon
This is the only uncontested district in the state, somewhat surprising since it’s not as Republican as it was prior to redistricting. Chairman Buckley claims Democrats in this area are focused on beating House Speaker Bill O’Brien, but that’s only Raybo’s way of face saving. President Bragdon would have been safe even with a quality opponent.
District 12—52.87-47.13 Republican edge
Democrat Peggy Gilmour
This is my upset special; the numbers say give it to incumbent Jim Luther, but I’ve got this feeling Gilmour wins. Every prognosticator should be allowed at least one unexplained feeling…this is mine.
If you’re with me so far, you can add them up. So far, it’s 6-6. Shall we save the rest for another day? Sure, I’m hungry.
Democrats win easily in 13, 15, and 21. Democrats hang on in districts 18 and 20 (the Manchester area, Donna Soucy and Lou; hey I'd vote for Gail Barry and Phil Greazzo, but this is what I think will hapen, not what I want to happen! That’s five for a total of 11.
Republicans win easy in districts 14, 19, 22, and 23. They win fairly easily in district 16 and 17, and Nancy Stiles hangs on in District 24 although that last one is really a toss-up.
If that doesn’t come out to 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats, let me know.
We’ll get to 13-24 in detail later.
Of all the political types I know, I probably am least likely to take note of the passing of certain people. Thus, you can tell how saddened I am to mention the passing of Bernard B.J. Perry Jr., a former School Board member from Manchester Ward 12 and an successful businessman in the Queen City.
His son, B.J. III, is one of the most competent and astute operatives on the political scene. B.J. Junior is married to Carrie Perry (a great name), one of staffers in the office of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (they're all great people there).
And, of course, as anyone knows who attended the Jim Demers CHAD St. Patricks Day event last winter, B.J. Jr. and Carrie are the proud parents of Elliot, the miracle baby who was born prematurely but is doing just fine now.
This one hurts more than most.
Condolences to the Perry family.
Rest in peace.
Amidst the ever-increasing clutter of political ads on a TV screen near you, Congressman Charlie Bass once again breaks through with an ad most people will not simply enjoy but will most likely want to see over and over again.
First it was a woman, dressed like challenger Annie Kuster, running away from her record. Now, the same woman (presumably) is dancing around her record. It's not just because I oppose Kuster's big tax and spend mentality (I certainly do), but this ad is a sensation. It deserves a Clio Award.
I've only seen it once but can't wait to see it again. If only Mitt Romney's high paid ad men could be as creative, maybe he'd have a chance against the Demagogue In Chief.
As for most of the other political ads, hey...that's why they make remote control channel changers.
Just this morning, still half asleep and with the remote control out of reach, I sat through a Carol Shea Porter ad attacking Frank Guinta over veterans issue and then immediately a response from Guinta attacking Carol Shea for her attack. I'm in favor of veterans as much as the next guy, but really...is this the top issue facing voters in the first Congressional district? I think not.
Kuster's bleeding heart ads especially make me not only want to reach for the remote control but in fact actually keep it close at hand. Maybe her handlers have tested these ads and tell here they're effective, but I doubt it.
As for the Ovide and Maggie feel good ads, they just don't do it for me. I'm waiting for Democrats to drop the shoe on Ovide as the Pedophile Priest attorney for the Catholic diocese. Hey, if I can think of it, you can be sure Democrats have thought of it. Undoubtedly, they're waiting for the final two weeks of the campaign. I can't wait to see it...Ovide? Family values? What kind of family values would lead a man to stand up for pedophile priests? Of course every the accused have a right to an attorney, but what do we think of such attorneys? Shades of the late, great, "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" Johnnie Cochran.
Boston channels, with fewer ads for the Presidential candidates (Mass is certainly not in play) are inundated with ads from Scott Brown (clever) and his Indian challenger.
In the meantime, Dance, Annie, Dance. I'll have my producer get a copy for airing (two or four times) on next week's Liberty Express.
HELP ME OUT HERE! I've googled Charlie Bass ads and I've googled Kuster dancing ads and all I get are Kuster ads. If anyone can locate the Kuster dancing ad, please post it below. Thanks. It's truly worth a look.
Aha, here it is thanks to Rep. Dan McGuire. I knew someone would come up with it. Enjoy.
That Bass ad you like is on YouTube here.
You might expect me, as a frequent critic of House Speaker Bill O'Brien, to be outraged by his decision to order that proposed bills be kept secret until after the November election (as reported in the lead story in today's Concord Monitor).
You would be wrong.
I find it impossible to get excited about this development. It's truly much ado about nothing.
Here's how it works. Although the election is still six weeks away, incumbent State Representatives, who advanced in the September primary, have a window of opportunity to file bill requests prior to the election (the window closes today).
Basically this is a house keeping procedure. Were we to wait until after November 6, the legislative drafting office would be inundated with requests (as they are anyway).
The early filing gives the hard working staffers a chance to get a head start on drafting legislation.
Every Rep, whether an incumbent or a newbie, will have another opportunity to file bill proposals after the election, so it's truly a case of no harm, no foul.
Sorry O'Brien haters, but I tend to agree with Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, on this one. These early filings are simply requests and could very well be changed completely by the time the drafting is completed. While the media would certainly like to gin up some controversy by latching onto bill titles and using them against certain incumbents, that would probably be more of a disservice than a service to both voters and those seeking office.
As I told Monitor reporter Annmarie Timmins (and she apparently chose not to use the comment), if any incumbent is worried about something he or she files at this time, that incumbent can simply wait until after the election.
Truth in blogging, I've filed some drafting requests already, including my usual attempt to allow sanity to prevail on our interstate highways, that is to say, to raise the speed limits as other states are doing. I'm also looking into that disposal of bodies by the water method (remember that bill from the last two sessions) and a "loser pays" law for civil law suits.
All of these (and any others) could be filed later (by me or any other person who wins in November), but early filing is a useful way of spreading out the work burden at the State House.
I repeat--it's no big deal.
Cut the outgoing Speaker some slack on this one.