(The opinions expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the New Hampshire Journal. The Journal welcomes opinions on all sides of issues and from all candidates for office.)
By R. JAMES STEINER
Before knowing who would be the Republican nominee to face Sen. Shaheen, this lifelong Republican and military veteran unequivocally endorsed Sen. Shaheen’s re-election. Sen. Shaheen has proven herself where it matters most, by raising her family here in New Hampshire, growing before our eyes serving as a state senator, as our Governor and through her first term as our U.S. Senator. She cares about her New Hampshire constituents, Republican and Democrat alike, because she cares about her neighbors regardless of political party. A veteran (and another Republican) recently shared with me that when he needed help it was Senator Shaheen’s office that came through for him. Like me, he has great respect for her leadership. Like me, she has earned his vote also.
Would New Hampshire really be better off this election with two Republican senators? Clearly not. Having two senators, one from each party, on the very powerful Senate Armed Services Committee has been a boon to New Hampshire. Look no further than the recent bipartisan success in bringing the new KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers to New Hampshire The tankers will help both the local economy and bolster the New Hampshire Air National Guard. That occurred because of joint bi-partisan effort by two senators wielding strong political clout in their respective parties. That is clout not to be easily dismissed or voted away.
These same two senators used their bipartisan power to push through legislation, long overdue, to allow veterans living more than 40 miles from a VA hospital to be able to seek local medical service under their military health coverage. Not just talk, but action and results, bipartisan action and results, to benefit New Hampshire military constituents.
I am sure Scott Brown is a good guy. He clearly has had a great career…in Massachusetts. When I heard, however, that his New Hampshire roots are limited to 18 months of residency at birth, and returning to reside in New Hampshire last year at age 54, I knew I and other New Hampshire voters were being asked to swallow a political line.
During Sen. Shaheen’s tenure as Governor, I served on the State Board of Education. I went from being “one of Ovide’s boys,” which was true, to being someone Sen. Shaheen trusted to speak on her behalf at education programs. I appreciated her trust in me. I trust her to do what is right for this state. Join me in voting to re-elect our senior U.S. senator, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, to a second term.
(R. James Steiner is a life-long Republican, and military veteran. He previously ran for Congress in the 2008 Republican primary, and chaired the Republican Rules Committee in the mid-1990s. He is a graduate of West Point and served as a Green Beret in the service. He has practiced law in New Hampshire the last 27 years.)