MANCHESTER, N.H. – Conventional national political wisdom sees Democrats facing a difficult election season this fall, but assembled New Hampshire Democrats appeared enthusiastic on Friday night as they convened at DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown for the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner.
Throughout the evening, speakers attempted to galvanize Democratic activists and elected officials in attendance with fears of what Republicans may do to New Hampshire and the country at large if they defeat Democrats on Election Day.
Reproductive rights were a recurring theme, as former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said that the “police state” that has arisen in Texas regarding abortion could become a national reality if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court and Republicans achieve a majority in the U.S. Senate.
Richards also attacked New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu on reproductive rights, referring to him as “multi-choice” in regard to instances where he has said he is a pro-choice governor while passing what she referred to as anti-abortion legislation.
Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington and presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Sherman also criticized Sununu on abortion rights and his lack of pressure on Republican Executive Councilors to accept federal funding for women’s health initiatives due to their potential links to abortion access.
U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, who seeks re-election this fall, also focused on the issue of reproductive rights, redirecting that focus instead to Republican candidates seeking the nomination to face her in the general election.
Hassan claimed that all of the candidates would be a rubber stamp for U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in opposing abortion rights, with N.H. Senate President and U.S. Senate Candidate Chuck Morse leading the way with efforts opposing abortion rights in Concord.
“Let me be very clear, you cannot claim to represent New Hampshire while you try to take away the freedoms of half of our population,” said Hassan.
Throughout the evening, other speakers repeated claims that Republicans worked for special interests or ideologically extreme factions while Democrats worked for working families and values supported by the majority of Americans.
New Hampshire First Congressional District Representative Chris Pappas in particular espoused this view, touting efforts regarding infrastructure, veterans’ services and attempts to attack oil companies for alleged price gouging while stating that his potential Republican opponents have no solutions to energy or medical prices and instead of focused on currying favor with former U.S. President Donald Trump.
While much of the evening centered around the dichotomy between Democrats and Republicans on the issues, Pappas also urged those in attendance to ignore prognostications and reach out to potential voters.
Pappas told the audience that Republicans at the national level have already paid for $10 million in attack ads against him this fall.
That point was also repeated throughout the evening.
“You will hear many pundits tell you that Democrats will fare poorly in November. Don’t you believe it,” said Wormington. “This is no time for despair, no time for gnashing of teeth, no time for anguish. Bill Shaheen once summed it up perfectly, ‘Don’t worry, work.’”