Haverhill state rep. among ‘rising stars’

  • Denny Ruprecht (Meg Brown photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/17/2020 9:49:09 PM
Modified: 8/17/2020 9:49:03 PM

HAVERHILL — A 21-year-old Grafton County Democrat who was an early supporter of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign will be one of 17 featured speakers Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention.

State Rep. Denny Ruprecht, D-Landaff, was chosen as one of the elected “rising stars” to deliver a combined keynote address, according to convention organizers. Other participants include Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost a 2018 run for governor in Georgia; U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Penn., a former Marine; and state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first Latina to serve in Nevada’s Senate.

“Leadership matters. As the 2020 DNC begins this week, we’ll see a clear contrast between the constant chaos of (President Donald) Trump’s presidency and a steady vision Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have for our nation. During our shared keynote on Tuesday night, I will join 16 other leaders in making the case to the American people,” Ruprecht said via email on Monday, echoing a tweet of his over the weekend.

Ruprecht, who graduated from Woodsville High School and now attends Plymouth State University, was elected two years ago at age 19 to represent the Grafton 15 House seat, a floterial district that includes Haverhill, Orford, Piermont, Bath, Benton, Easton, Warren and Landaff, where he lives.

Ruprecht endorsed Biden, who struggled to connect with young voters in the New Hampshire primary, in July 2019, saying he had the “moral compass and compassion” to move the country forward and “has always supported working-class families like mine,” the New Hampshire lawmaker wrote in an op-ed last summer. Ruprecht was raised by his mother, a single working mom, after his father died when he was 3.

Ruprecht is now running for re-election in the Grafton 3 House district, which includes Landaff, Bath, Benton, Easton, Orford, Piermont, and Warren.

At least two of the New Hampshire delegates are from the Upper Valley. Canaan resident Johnnie Christensen and Hanover resident Krishna Desai.

Christensen was elected as a delegate for Pete Buttigieg, and Desai for Bernie Sanders, but party officials said they are “pledged” but not bound, so some delegates are expected to back Biden. In Vermont, 2020 Woodstock High graduate Allison Leibly is a Biden delegate.

The convention is being livestreamed and also aired on C-SPAN and PBS from 9 to 11 p.m.

Sanders and former First Lady Michelle Obama were slated to address the convention on Monday night after the Valley News went to press.

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