MANCHESTER, N.H. – Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig joined with the mayors of Nashua, Concord and Laconia on Monday to simultaneously endorse U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in her bid to return to Washington for a third term.
All four mayors praised Shaheen for her efforts to directly help their cities in the past, helping facilitate state and federal aid for local projects relating to Veterans Administration support, the opioid crisis, infrastructure improvements and assistance for small businesses.
Concord Mayor Jim Bouley said that her help was vital to make sure support for New Hampshire priorities was not sidetracked by other initiatives.
“When folks in D.C. try to take away money to perhaps build a wall or whatever scheme they come up with, it’s great to have Senator Shaheen there fighting not only for citizens of New Hampshire and Concord, but our military and our veterans and our National Guard so they can continue to provide their services,” he said.
Each mayor provided their own story on how Shaheen specifically helped their community. Craig noted federal support for Boston-Manchester Regional Airport. Bouley referenced a TIGER Grant that helped rejuvenate the state capital’s downtown and cut store vacancies by half. Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess referenced a boat ramp on the Merrimack River that received support thanks to Shaheen’s efforts. Laconia Mayor Andrew Hosmer referenced initiatives to stem youth violence.
These instances were just some of the long list of things that they say Shaheen has helped force Congress to provide local funding for in New Hampshire, and Shaheen believes that providing that local support is more vital than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Shaheen also said that efforts to provide additional local support have been stymied by President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), citing the Republicans’ recent proposal to tie aid for school districts with them bringing back students for in-person instruction regardless of COVID-19 statistics, with that aid at only a quarter of the proposed Democratic support.
“Sadly, (COVID-19 relief) has been held up about a disagreement about what we are going to support. One of the biggest obstacles has been support for cities and towns,” said Shaheen. “Remember Mitch McConnell’s statement earlier this summer when he said that states and communities can just go bankrupt? That’s not the approach we can take, we need to provide help for the communities and states that are on the front lines of this pandemic.”
As the event concluded, a woman walking her dog in the park walked up to Shaheen to ask questions about the state of the nation.
Jillianne Snow, a nearby resident, said the event was occurring at the same time she walks her dog every day and stopped to listen to the remarks.
Snow would not say who she is supporting in this year’s U.S. Senate election or say specifically who she has supported in the past, but said she did not vote for Trump in 2016 and is “supporting a woman” this year once she registers to vote in the near future. Snow also described herself as disillusioned with the state of politics in this country right now.
She talked with Craig and Shaheen for several minutes and was positive about the support offered from Washington so far through the pandemic. She later said that city efforts during the pandemic had also been good, but reiterated a concern that there has not been enough communication and other types of non-monetary support between the government and citizens, both in terms of the pandemic and other measures such as the Healthcare.gov website.
“I think that technology and government should not be as complicated,” she said. “If businesses can do it, why can’t government do it?”
On Monday, Shaheen also received the endorsement of Dover Mayor Robert Carrier, Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard, Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley and Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier.