Primary Source: Candidates from Massachusetts pile onto NH primary ballot

  • John P. Gregg. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., files to have her name listed on the New Hampshire primary ballot, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Concord, N.H. At left is New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., addresses supporters outside the State House after filing to have her name listed on the New Hampshire primary ballot, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, left, speaks before a moment of silence for marathon bombing victims at the statehouse in Boston, Massachusetts, Monday, April 22, 2013, with Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, back right. (Chitose Suzuki/Boston Herald/TNS)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/13/2019 10:07:37 PM

Two presidential candidates from Massachusetts filed for the New Hampshire primary on Wednesday, and a third reportedly is on his way.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., filed papers in Concord and tweeted out, “We are officially on the ballot in New Hampshire! Let’s keep up the momentum for big, structural change.”

Also filing was former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, a Republican hoping to unseat President Donald Trump in the GOP primary. In a meeting with Valley News editors and reporters later in the day, Weld acknowledged that Trump holds a commanding lead in New Hampshire polls but could also be vulnerable because of impeachment.

“I’m on the ground more than he is here. It’s central to my plan. My plan is to come as close as I can to 51% in New Hampshire,” said Weld, who hopes to draw more independents, younger adults and women to the GOP ballot, especially given his long-standing, socially liberal stances on LGBTQ and abortion rights issues.

“My strategy is to enlarge the electorate of those voting in the Republican party,” said Weld, who also hopes to do well in California’s Super Tuesday primary.

Meanwhile, another former Massachusetts governor — Deval Patrick, who served from 2007 to 2015 — reportedly has told fellow Democrats he will enter the race this week.

There’s an Upper Valley connection to Patrick. Just, full disclosure, as I was once Weld’s chief speechwriter on Beacon Hill back in the early 1990s, Norwich resident Mark Lilienthal was a speechwriter and director of constituent services for Patrick during much of his two terms as governor.

“Gov. Patrick is a master communicator, able to connect with people from every background and every walk of life. He is relentlessly optimistic, calling on everyone to ‘put their cynicism down’ and asking them to see how powerful we can be when we decide to work together,” Lilienthal said via email.

Lilienthal said he is glad Patrick is considering a bid, and he said his strengths include using “justice, compassion, and fairness as guideposts” and staying calm under pressure.

“No matter how intense a situation becomes, he remains under and in control,” Lilienthal said.

What is it about Massachusetts and all the White House fever? Since 1980, among the Bay State pols who have waged serious Democratic campaigns for president are Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, John Kerry, and now Warren and Patrick, and among Republicans, Mitt Romney and Weld.

The decision by Patrick and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to enter the race reflects some dissatisfaction with the current field, including the performance of former Vice President Joe Biden. But at a fundraiser for Biden on Saturday evening in Norwich, former Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin spoke in favor of his candidacy, according to a pool report by Fox News reporter Madeleine Rivera that was distributed by the Biden campaign.

“Of all the people I’ve worked with, Joe Biden stands out to me. He’s the one that can actually bring people together to make things happen,” said Shumlin, who in 2016 backed Hillary Clinton over fellow Vermonter Bernie Sanders.

Several Democrats appear to want a candidate who can help the country heal. State Rep. Susan Almy, a Lebanon Democrat who is backing South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, said the 1,300 people he had at the Lebanon Middle School on Saturday morning rivaled the large crowd then-Sen. Barack Obama drew to Lebanon Opera House shortly before the 2008 New Hampshire primary.

“He’s a lot more open to continuing to listen and negotiate so we can get lasting legislation through,” Almy said in comparing Buttigieg with his rivals.

Stressing the value of bipartisanship, she also noted that the New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee, which she chairs, had just passed 18 bills on Tuesday in unanimous votes.

Asked why she opted for Buttigieg over Warren and other female candidates, Almy said: “Elizabeth Warren does the same kind of yelling as Trump does. She’s doing it from a perspective that I find a lot more attractive than Trump, but she and a lot of others on the stage are trying to tear people down, and they are proclaiming their own program.”

Elsewhere on the trail

Among other candidates, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is slated to hold a Claremont “meet and greet” at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza on Broad Street.

And former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio, had some blunt things to say about the primacy of the Iowa and New Hampshire contests.

“We can’t say to black women, ‘Oh, thank you, thank you, you are the ones that are powering our victories in places like Alabama and in 2018,’ and then turn around and start our nominating contests in the two states that have barely any black people in them. I mean, that doesn’t make sense,” he told a reporter in Iowa on Sunday. “We can’t as a Democratic Party continually and justifiably complain about Republicans who suppress the votes of people of color and then turn around and start our nominating contests in two states that, even though they take their roles seriously, hardly have any people of color. That’s just the truth.”

Briefly noted

■ State Rep. Roger Dontonville, D-Enfield, endorsed U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign this week.

■ Grantham Democrats are hosting a “candidate speed dating” event from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Grantham Town Hall. Attendees can meet with campaign staffers from a dozen campaigns.

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com.




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