TUESDAY, OCT. 28: PRESTON FOR BROWN. Former New Hampshire state Senate Democratic Leader Bob Preston reemerged on the political scene today by backing Republican Senate challenger Scott Brown over Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Preston said in an open letter released by the Brown campaign that Shaheen “served the state of New Hampshire well” as governor and, earlier, as a state senator.
But now, he said, her “blind allegiance” to President Obama “has resulted in the problems our nation faces today.”
“Once looked up (to) as the strongest and most respected democracy in the world, we are now scoffed at by some world leaders,” Preston wrote. “Domestically, scandals occur in the Veterans Administration. Corruption has been uncovered in the IRS. No action has been taken to address the immigration problem. U.S. citizens forced into a health program against their wished that cost them more money as the administration walks us toward socialized medicine.
“With all due respect to Senator Shaheen, she has not been able to address these problems and has gone along to get along with President Obama increasing the budget deficit until each American family is now in debt nationally in excess of $150,000.”
As for Brown, Preston wrote: “I sincerely believe his common sense and independence in Washington will be better for New Hampshire and our nation. I believe his leadership and decision-making will change the course of this country for the better.”
Preston, now 85, is an icon on New Hampshire’s Seacoast. He has been a small business owner for more than 50 years and has owned Preston Real Estate for about 40 of those years.
Preston was first elected to the state Senate in 1972 and was then reelected eight times – serving eight yeas, or four terms, as Senate Democratic leader — before deciding not to seek a 10th term. Instead, he ran for governor in 1990 as a moderate (some would say conservative) alternative and lost to Democratic nominee, former state party chairman Joe Grandmaison.
Preston then won the 1992 Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District seat, but lost to Republican Bill Zeliff.
Preston has long been known as a conservative, anti-broadbased tax, pro-life Democrat. But he was a staunch supporter of President Jimmy Carter, whose New Hampshire campaign in 1980, by the way, was headed by one Jeanne Shaheen.
But Brown is also not the first Republican Preston has recently endorsed.
Just two years ago, Preston headed “Democrats for Ovide,” a group of Democrats who backed Republican Ovide Lamontagne over Maggie Hassan.
Preston’s niece, by the way, is veteran Republican operative Alicia Preston, who most recently managed the campaign of GOP candidate for governor Andrew Hemingway.
TUESDAY OCT. 28: GOPer HITS BROWN, BACKS SHAHEEN. Republican business owner Amy LaBelle of Amherst today backed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for the U.S. Senate, saying that challenger Scott Brown has voted shows he is “only interested in himself and in the bid money corporate donors who fund his campaign.”
Shaheen went to LaBelle Winery in Amherst today in an effort to contrast what her campaign said was her record of supporting the state’s small businesses against Brown’s “record of supporting out-of-state corporate interests, including companies that outsource American jobs.”
In a statement released by the Shaheen campaign, LaBelle said, “I’m a registered Republican but I know that when it comes to who will fight for New Hampshire and its small businesses, Senator Shaheen is the clear choice. Senator Shaheen has fought for small businesses throughout her career, while she was New Hampshire’s governor and now as our US Senator. She has been focused on the policies that help business owners like me create jobs.”
LaBelle said Brown “voted against commonsense bills like the Small Business Jobs Act that help New Hampshire businesses” and “for tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas to places like China and Mexico. He’s not voting for companies that are creating jobs here.”
Shaheen said she has “fought to close tax loopholes for companies that outsource American jobs and instead led the fight to pass legislation that cut taxes for our small businesses, which create jobs and support our economy here in New Hampshire. Scott Brown didn’t just oppose that legislation; he championed special tax giveaways to Big Oil companies, Wall Street banks, and even companies that ship jobs overseas.”
The Shaheen campaign is reiterating at every opportunity that Shaheen “has deep roots in New Hampshire, raised her family here, and has a record of making a difference for New Hampshire families both as Governor and Senator.”
The state Democratic Party charged that when Brown was a member of the Massachusetts state Senate in 2006, he supported then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s “deep cut to the Affirmative Market Program, which promoted equality by ensuring that women-owned businesses had a fair shot to participate in state contracts.
“The difference between Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown is stark: Shaheen is the kind of leader who stands up for women-owned businesses and fights for opportunities for them to succeed, but Scott Brown champions cuts to programs that offer these businesses important support,” said NHDP spokesman Julie McClain.
TUESDAY, OCT. 28: NHGOP RALLY, TOUR. Several hours after Hillary Clinton leads a rally for state Democratic candidates in Nashua on Sunday, Republicans will gather for their own end-of-the-campaign rally in Manchester.
The event at Wiggins Airways in Manchester will feature Sen. Kelly Ayotte, former Sen. John E. Sununu, former Gov. John H. Sununu as well as candidates Scott Brown, Walt Havenstein, Frank Guinta and Marilinda Garcia.
The NHGOP said that starting on Friday, it will have a “Victory for New Hampshire” statewide bus tour hitting all 10 counties before concluding back in Manchester on Election Day.
TUESDAY, OCT. 28: NRCC AD FOR GARCIA. For the first time in the campaign the National Republican Congressional Committee on Wednesday will go on the air with a television ad on behalf of 2nd District U.S. House candidate Marilinda Garcia.
The NRCC has so far spent $2.9 million on advertising in the 1st Congressional District, but this will be the first money spent in NH02. NRCC spokesman said the committee will spend about $100,000.
The ad has yet to be released.
“President Obama and his ‘strongest supporter,” Annie Kuster, will do anything to cling to power in Washington,” said Gorman. “The NRCC stands squarely behind Marilinda Garcia and is ready to do whatever it takes to ensure she brings her independent voice to Congress.”
TUESDAY, OCT. 28: KUSTER UP BY 23(?) The latest WMUR Granite State Poll, released by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center tonight, shows Democratic Rep. Ann Kuster leading Republican Marilinda Garcia by no fewer than 23 percentage points.
The poll had 46 percent of likely voters favoring Kuster and 28 percent favoring Garcia, with 24 percent undecided.
When undecided voters are asked which candidate they lean toward supporting, 53 percent backed Kuster and 30 percent said Garcia, with 16 percent still undecided.
The margin of error in the poll is 5.7 percent.
UNH said the race is “volatile” due to the unpopularity of both candidates. And that seems to be the case.
Just three weeks ago, the same poll had Garcia leading Kuster by four percentage points.
Click here for the poll results.