The New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual fall fundraising dinner was part celebration of this year’s victories by state Democrats and part pep-rally for the bigger electoral fights ahead in 2018.
The dinner, held in Hollis, was also an early screen test for two 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls.
And the annual Kennedy-Clinton dinner also came with some controversy, as hours before the gathering the chairwoman of the New Hampshire GOP called for former President Bill Clinton’s name to be dropped from the event because of the revived sexual misconduct debate over the former president.
The dinner was held just a week and a half after the party enjoyed a big night in municipal elections, including Joyce Craig becoming the first woman ever and the first Democrat in 14 years to win a Manchester mayoral election. Democrats also swept the field in Nashua’s elections for board of aldermen and was victorious in both state House of Representatives special elections, flipping one seat from red to blue.
“While we have plenty of work to do, New Hampshire Democrats have a lot to celebrate,” said longtime state party Chairman Ray Buckley.
Buckley praised Craig’s victory and raved that “in Nashua, sweet Nashua, we pulled off a clean sweep.”
With the party hoping to win back majorities in the state House, state Senate and the five member Executive Council, Buckley asked “is everyone clear what our mission is the next 11 months?”
The party would also like to recapture the Corner Office from Gov. Chris Sununu, the state’s first GOP governor in a dozen years.
“We need to make Chris Sununu a one term governor,” Buckley said.
Sen. Maggie Hassan, Sununu’s predecessor as governor, echoed Buckley’s message, saying “next year we’ll have an opportunity to keep our congressional delegation blue and to turn the State House and the governor’s office blue.”
That appears to be a tough task, as Sununu passed most of his agenda through the State House this year and currently enjoys an approval rating of around 60 percent in the most recent public opinion polls.
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