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Primary Source: Kelly endorses Warren; Burling backs Klobuchar

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



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 09, 2019

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren this week picked up an endorsement that may help her with some liberal voters in New Hampshire.

Former state Sen. Molly Kelly, the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor, said she is backing the Massachusetts senator in her bid for president because she is a “champion for families.”

“Elizabeth is running to address so many of the issues I’ve fought for my whole life, including fighting to make a quality education available to everyone, expanding health care and reproductive rights, ensuring equal opportunity for all, and, most importantly, putting our families and children first,” Kelly said in a statement released by the Warren campaign. “That’s why I’m supporting her.”

Kelly, a former Cheshire County lawmaker, served five terms in the state Senate. She lost to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu last year, garnering 45.8% of the vote.

In a less expected development, former state Sen. Peter Burling, a former member of the Democratic National Committee and a prominent Democrat in the Upper Valley, on Wednesday said he is endorsing U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, for president.

Burling, who has been hosting candidates at house parties at his Cornish home, said he is convinced Klobuchar can win the presidency, and he noted that the former Minnesota prosecutor has never lost an election, including three for the U.S. Senate.

“She just has a character and a personality that attracts voters to her,” Burling said. “That may be different than the kind of rock star quality that some of our candidates like to search for, but in terms of the long run, in attracting voters and bringing them to her side, she just has what it takes, in my view.”

Burling noted that Klobuchar has “the most productive record” in the United States Senate, having seen more than 100 of her bills become law, even in a partisan Washington.

“She gets it done,” Burling said.

Klobuchar also has an intellectual and “political pragmatism” that could help the country, said Burling, who also served as Democratic leader in the New Hampshire House.

“Mostly she wants to bring us back together again,” he said. “There certainly is no other achievement as important as doing that.”

Among other candidates, more than 50 New Hampshire women, including state Sen. Martha Hennessey, D-Hanover, and state Rep. Lee Walker Oxenham, D-Plainfield, began phone banking for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., targeting female voters.

And U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced his state co-chairs. They are state Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, a major force in repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire earlier this year, and Mindi Messmer, an environmental activist from Rye.

Impeachment talk

Former Vice President Joe Biden directly called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday during a speech in Rochester, N.H.

Biden said indications that Trump tried to withhold military aid to get the Ukrainian president to investigate $50,000-a-month fees Biden’s son Hunter received while serving on the board of a natural gas company show that the president violated his oath of office.

“No president in American history ever dared engage in such unimaginable behavior,” Biden said. “With his words and with his actions, President Trump has indicted himself. By obstructing justice and refusing to comply with the congressional inquiry, he has already convicted himself.”

Impeachment talk is also likely to be heard on Thursday from former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, a Republican who is challenging Trump in the GOP primary.

Weld will appear at Dartmouth’s Filene Auditorium at 4:15 p.m. for a speech sponsored by Dartmouth Republicans, then will headline a house party on Laramie Road in Hanover sponsored by former state Sen. Jim Rubens, R-Etna.

Weld, who also was a former top official in the Justice Department, has said there is an “overwhelming” case to be made that Trump should be impeached.

Meanwhile, former investor-turned-activist Tom Steyer, who has been calling for Trump’s impeachment for two years and is now running for president as a Democrat, has also launched an impeachment TV ad in New Hampshire. Steyer has also been blanketing voters’ doorsteps with campaign mailers.

Photo-friendly in Claremont

Gov. Chris Sununu stopped by Claremont on Wednesday with a ceremonial check for $6.2 million to highlight increases the city is getting under the newly adopted state budget.

That includes a $2.6 million increase in ongoing education funding, $2.9 million in education infrastructure grant funding and $682,000 in municipal infrastructure grant funding, according to Sununu’s office.

“Stopped by the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center in Claremont this afternoon to present a check for over $6M — funds that allow cities & towns to invest in the projects most important to their communities. Thanks to Mayor Charlene Lovett and city officials for joining!” Sununu said on Twitter.

State Sen. Martha Hennessey, D-Hanover, whose district includes Claremont, skipped the event, calling it a “political stunt” in a news release.

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