The Keene Sentinel and Manchester Ink Link Cover Senator Hassan’s Conversations with Voters Ahead of Election Day

Monday, October 31, 2022

In case you missed it, the Keene Sentinel and Manchester Ink Link covered Senator Hassan’s conversations with voters in Keene and Manchester over the weekend, where she spoke with Granite Staters about a range of issues, including “her bipartisan record in Congress and the importance of turning out to vote in the upcoming election” and “legislation she has introduced on mortgage insurance tax breaks and affordable housing grants.

Manchester resident Dan Hebert told Manchester Ink Link, “I liked what she said about (Republicans and Democrats) and how we have a lot more in common than people realize.”

And in Keene, Jennifer Lasher told Keene Sentinel, “I know she’s just a real person like you and I…Trying to help the community.”

See below for coverage highlights:

Keene Sentinel: Hassan touts bipartisanship, talks with potential voters at Brewbakers in Keene
By Ryan Spencer

Jennifer Lasher, a 7th-grade social studies teacher at Keene Middle School, was grading papers at Brewbakers in Keene Sunday, as she does most weekends, when Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan walked up.

Lasher told the senator, who is up for reelection on Nov. 8, that “the last few years have been the most challenging” in her career as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted in-person teaching and exacerbated students’ struggles with mental health.

“I hear it and I see it,” Hassan responded, pointing to the STANDUP Act, a bill she introduced in Congress last year with a Republican colleague. That bill, aimed at preventing youth suicide and strengthening mental health resources in schools, was signed into law in March.

For just under an hour, Hassan meandered through Brewbakers, sipping a skim latte as she talked to prospective voters about the issues on their minds, her bipartisan record in Congress and the importance of turning out to vote in the upcoming election.

Talking with Jeff Murphy, the owner of Brewbakers, Hassan asked what issues he was hearing amid coffeehouse chatter from customers. Murphy said a lot of people are concerned about the increasing cost of living, especially issues like inflation and home heating costs.

“We’re trying to tackle it from a bunch of different places,” Hassan said. “But it’s still hard for people.”

In a brief interview, Hassan said she is focused on pushing for a gas tax suspension and for the Biden Administration to release a home heating fuel reserve that could drive down costs for consumers.

Thinking more long term, with the pandemic and the war in Ukraine being among the driving forces behind inflation, Hassan said she is focused on efforts to bring manufacturing and supply chains back to the United States and transition to clean energy.

In particular, the senator pointed to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that she helped negotiate through Congress and the CHIPS and Science Act, a bill she helped write aimed at bringing the manufacture of computer chips and other products back to the United States. In the past year, President Joe Biden has signed both into law.

“Inflation and high costs are on people’s minds,” Hassan said. “So is individual freedom and especially women’s reproductive rights.”

Abortion is the issue where Hassan said she is the most diametrically opposed to her Republican challenger, Don Bolduc.

“One of the big differences in this election is I support a woman’s individual right to make her own healthcare decisions,” Hassan said. “And my opponent would be a ‘yes’ vote for a national abortion ban.”

According to Hassan, Bolduc has also said he would have voted against the infrastructure bill, the CHIPS and Science Act and allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs. She also went after Bolduc for his calls to eliminate Social Security and make major cuts to Medicare.

“He is somebody who has an extreme agenda, both in terms of costs and in terms of individual freedom,” Hassan said. “That is some of the stakes.”

Among Bolduc’s most extreme views, she said, is his denial that Biden won the 2020 election. (Previously, Bolduc had called Biden’s victory into question but more recently, including in a debate this month, he has changed his position and said he accepted the results, while still clinging to some election-related conspiracy theories.)

“That matters because if people think they can reject election results, they think they don’t have to listen to you,” Hassan said. “In a democracy, the way we hold people accountable is through elections.”

[…] She noted The Lugar Center, a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. that describes itself as a platform for informed debate and analysis of global issues, has ranked her the most bipartisan senator in 2021.

The senator, who after leaving Brewbakers stopped at Winchester Street to give a brief speech to a group of about 30 volunteers who would spend the afternoon canvassing door-to-door, also touted her bipartisanship.

Lasher, the 7th-grade teacher grading papers at Brewbakers, said when Hassan approached her she was nervous, because senators take on a bit of a celebrity status. But she said it’s hard to make changes to the school system from within, so she is hopeful that expressing her needs to elected officials will help.

“I know she’s just a real person like you and I,” Lasher said. “Trying to help the community.”

Manchester Ink Link: Hassan and Shaheen talk with downtown Manchester voters
By Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – As Election Day approaches, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined fellow U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in downtown Manchester on Friday to talk directly with potential voters.

The two senators talked to voters at the Bridge Café on Elm Street and the Red Arrow Diner on Lowell Street, receiving cordial responses and what appeared to be either support or appreciation from a majority of people they talked with during the stops.

Hassan provided information to voters on legislation she has introduced on mortgage insurance tax breaks and affordable housing grants among other topics. Hassan also appreciated the support of her fellow senator during the brief downtown tour.

“It was really nice to be with my colleague Jeanne Shaheen, such a great fighter for New Hampshire families, and it was good to talk to people about what’s on their mind,” she said. “We heard about everything from the cost of living to reproductive freedoms, so not surprising issues, just reinforcing that people have a lot on their minds right now and it was a really nice opportunity to talk with folks.”

One key strategy during Hassan’s campaign has been toward emphasizing her bipartisan bonafides in Washington while aiming to characterize her opponent, Republican nominee Don Bolduc, as an extreme contrast to that collaborative approach.

Those efforts may have paid dividends with several individuals she talked with on the tour who said they were splitting their ticket, voting for her but also possibly incumbent Republican Governor Chris Sununu as well.

Manchester resident Dan Hebert was one of those people.

Although he’s likely to vote primarily for Democrats, Hebert said he was on the fence between Sununu, who he thinks has done a good job so far, and Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Tom Sherman, who he said he needs to research further. However, he was already firmly committed for Hassan prior to the encounter at the Bridge Café, with the brief discussion only cementing his support for her.

“I feel like you see (Hassan) all the time on TV, but she’s a little different in person,” he said. “She’s just like regular people and I liked what she said about (Republicans and Democrats) and how we have a lot more in common than people realize.”

With less than two weeks to go, Hassan believes that there are more people like Hebert who might be undecided voters in certain races on the ballot this year and says that none of those people’s votes can be taken for granted this November.

“This is a famously independent state. You have to talk with people and earn their vote every time and that’s what I enjoy doing,” she said. “Just being out and about and contrasting my record, which is really a record of delivering bipartisan results on the priorities that matter to the people of New Hampshire.”


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