CONCORD – The progressive political action committee Democracy For America is backing six New Hampshire State Senate candidates in an effort to help Democrats win back control of the Senate from the current 13-11 Republican majority.
DFA, founded by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and chaired by his brother, Jim Dean, is backing incumbents Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth in District 21, Peggy Gilmour of Hollis in District 12, and David Watters of Dover in District 4, as well as candidates Richard Leonard of New Durham in District 6, Chris Muns of Hamptons in District 24 and Lee Nyquist of New Boston in District 9.
DFA Chair Jim Dean said, “After the 2010 election, New Hampshire voters saw the Tea Party’s anti-woman, anti-voter, and anti-working family agenda on full display in the State House and retook the General Court in response. This year, Democracy for America members in New Hampshire can’t wait to help those same voters finish the job by flipping the state Senate and end Republicans obstruction of a progressive agenda for the Granite State.”
According to DFA, its endorsements are part of the organization’s “Purple to Blue” Project, described as “a national, multi-year effort launched in 2013 to win state House and Senate chambers across the country by making so-called ‘purple’ state legislative seats decisively Democratic.”
The group says it has 15,333 members in New Hampshire and 1 million members nationwide.
In the state of Washington, which was the first state announced as a “Purple to Blue” state, DFA says it is is backing “four progressive State Senate candidates while Democrats need to pick up just one seat to take the chamber.”
According to DFA, since being founded in 2004 by Howard Dean, members “have contributed more than $31 million, made more than 8.9 million volunteer calls and successfully elected 802 progressive candidates across the country.” Howard Dean, who ran for President in 2004 and later chaired the Democratic National Committee, remains a consultant to the PAC.
In an email to members, today, DFA Electoral Director Annie Weinburg wrote:
“ Just three State Senate seats stand between us and a more progressive New Hampshire.
“The Tea Party wave of 2010 swept Republicans into power in New Hampshire. For two years Republicans tried to pass the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) agenda. They attacked labor unions. They voted to make it harder for a woman to get health care services. They enacted one of the strictest voter I.D. laws in the country.
“In 2012, progressives took back the New Hampshire House of Representatives and began fighting for working people. House Democrats passed an increase in the minimum wage and an increase in unemployment benefits, only to see the Republican State Senate kill it. If we win just three seats this year, we can win the State Senate and finally pass a progressive agenda for the Granite State.”
After announcing the six endorsements, Weinburg wrote:
“If we can win these competitive races and win control of the State Senate, we can stop the Republicans’ wave of anti-woman, anti-worker legislation. And we can show that New Hampshire is ready for bold leaders up and down the ticket who’ll fight harder for working families than for big corporate interests. New Hampshire is at a crossroads.”