In an explosive new development in the race for New Hampshire Senate in District 9, Democratic candidate Lee Nyquist is telling law partners and other supporters in the trial lawyer community that he is seeking high public office in order to “advocate inside the Senate for our courts, our clients and our future clients.”
“As a past president of NHAJ, a strong factor motivating my run for the Senate is my intention to be an advocate inside the Senate for our courts, our clients and our future clients. My advocacy on the inside will be crucial. I will always be a champion for the civil justice system and you can count on me,” reads the full paragraph in a private e-mail circulated by Nyquist and obtained by NH Journal.
The revelation of Mr. Nyquist’s e-mail calls into question his motives for seeking state office and whether his priorities lie with the people of Senate District 9 or with his law firm’s financial future.
The e-mail was sent from Nyquist’s law firm e-mail address and bears the logo of his law firm, Shaheen & Gordon. NH Journal has contacted Mr. Nyquist to authenticate the e-mail and to seek an explanation but has not received a response as of this filing.
New Hampshire has relaxed laws regulating legislative conflicts of interest. Largely because New Hampshire has a citizen legislature, with office holders making only $100 per year, the state relies on disclosure of financial interests rather than requiring lawmakers to recuse themselves from voting on issues where they may have a conflict. Nevertheless, the state has issued guidelines upon which the public can file ethics complaints against office holders.
In all our years, though, we cannot recall another instance in which a serious office seeker promised so clearly and obviously in campaign material to help his clients and future clients should he be victorious.