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Midterm 2022: Meet the senate racers

By JON DECKER, THE LACONIA DAILY SUN May 24, 2022 

It’s been nearly two years since the presidential election. That means it’s time for the midterm election. New Hampshire’s senate seat is among the most coveted prizes, and according to some national statistics, the most vulnerable.

Currently, incumbent United States Sen. Maggie Hassan will have a four-way race between herself, Libertarian Jeremy Kauffman, Thomas Sharpe V of the Progressive Bull Moose Party, and whichever Republican comes out on top in the primary. There are eight Republicans vying for the chance to battle Hassan for the senate, some with extensive political experience, others with none. The Daily Sun spoke to Hassan, Kauffman, and four of the Republican candidates about their hopes, concerns and platforms for 2022.

Hassan brings extensive political experience and a healthy amount of campaign funding to the table. She has served as a New Hampshire senator, two terms as governor and won the U.S. Senate seat in 2016.

“What I’ll focus on is making my case to Granite Staters,” Hassan said. “My focus is going to be on how I’ve delivered to Granite Staters with tangible results, and that I’m going to stand up as I have to any corporate special interests.”

Hassan cited her work on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, reproductive rights advocacy, and some of her involvement with the Lakes Region.

“When it comes to Laconia, I am proud of the fact I helped get funding to help the airport expand as part of the infrastructure bill, as well as $5 million for substance use disorder programs modeled after the work of Eric Adams.”

Kevin Smith also expressed confidence at the upcoming race, but stated that he’s not taking the competition lightly.

“I think voters are looking for a new generation of conservative leadership,” Smith said. “I’m talking about kitchen table topics like the out of control inflation, prices at the store, gas pump, home heating oil, building, supply costs, we still have a supply chain shortage and a staffing shortage.” This kitchen table ideology is also blended with a conservative, pro-business economic philosophy, which Smith credited with his success during his time in town government.

“I was town manager in Londonderry. We grew the town tax base by $2.2 billion, and gave $11 million back to the taxpayers and budget surplus. It resulted in a historic low municipal tax rate, but also rolling out the red carpet for employers and increased jobs in the area and the overall economic vitality.”

Although Smith stated he’s not taking his Republican competition lightly, he had some choice words for the incumbent.

“I feel very good about going against Maggie,” Smith said. “I’ve said she’s an absent senator, she’s hardly in the state. At the same time if you look at her votes, I don’t think it’s representative of the Granite State.”

Despite the strength and coincidence expressed by Republican candidates, Hassan still leads all of her opponents in campaign funding. Whichever Republican comes out on top will most likely be in for quite the fight. But if the last decade of American politics has taught us anything, it’s that there are absolutely zero guarantees.

Original article: https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news/elections/midterm-2022-meet-the-senate-racers/article_a63cecb8-c118-11ec-a50e-e3682f7aba2b.html