CONCORD — Veterans were once again in focus in the U.S. Senate race Monday.
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen received the backing of more than 100 Granite State vets in Concord, while her leading Republican rival, Senate candidate Scott Brown, unveiled a new television ad talking about his service in the National Guard and met with veterans at Harbor Homes in Nashua.
Shaheen called for passage of legislation called the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act. The provision would allow veterans in New Hampshire – because it does not have a full service Veterans Affairs hospital – to receive health care services from certain non-VA medical facilities if they live more than 20 miles from a full service VA provider.
Shaheen said in a statement she has long fought to improve veterans access to quality health care, including sponsorship of the Veterans Health Equity Act.
Her campaign said the veterans endorsing Shaheen will “be leading outreach” to other veterans and military families on her behalf.
Registered Republican U.S. Army Special Forces Capt. Jim Steiner, who served on the state Board of Education when Shaheen was governor, said, “It is time for voters to stop worrying about the party label and focus on actual leadership we see demonstrated.”
Shaheen also received the backing of Ken Clark of Stratham, a retired U.S. Air Force Major General and former Adjutant General of the New Hampshire National Guard.
Her campaign said she has backed legislation to encourage companies to hire veterans and “broke through years of red tape to get veterans clinics and health centers in Manchester, Keene, Berlin, and Colebrook.”
Brown’s new ad features him mentioning his 35 years as a member of the U.S. Army National Guard and charging that “the Obama-Shaheen economy is not working” for veterans “or for anyone else.”
He says that veterans “deserve better than long waits for patient care,” promising to “get health care back on track and focus on more good jobs for everyone.
“No one should fight for America overseas, only to return home and fight for respect here,” says Brown.
Brown followed up the ad by launching an “Honoring Our veterans” tour at the non-profit Harbor Homes, which provides not only veterans, but also other homeless and disabled Granite Staters with affordable housing and other key support services.
His tour will continue this week.
Shaheen’s campaign also noted that her first television ad of the campaign, which aired in May, focused on veterans.