Gov. Maggie Hassan speaks Tuesday at the Clinton-Sanders rally in Portsmouth

Jul 13, 2016 3:38 PM

Hassan tells NH1 News that Democrats 'coming together' quickly

NH1 News Political Director

HOOKSETT – Gov. Maggie Hassan says in the wake of the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders joint rally in Portsmouth, the Democratic Party is unifying “as quickly as we ever had.”

And New Hampshire’s Democratic governor, who’s running for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte, also told NH1 News the party’s going to have a “unified” nominating convention in a week and a half in Philadelphia.

Hassan spoke with NH1 News on Wednesday, minutes after presiding over the latest meeting of the Executive Council, which was held in Hooksett’s public library.

The governor was mostly well received as she and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen spoke directly before Sanders at Tuesday’s event at Portsmouth High School. The senator from Vermont endorsed Clinton’s bid for the White House, bringing to an end a more than yearlong nomination battle that turned contentious between the two candidates and between their supporters.

But Hassan was interrupted a couple of times by Sanders supporters in the audience at the school’s gymnasium who chanted “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie.”

That prompted Clinton supporters to shout out “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie.”

Hassan was also jeered by some Sanders supporters when she praised Clinton. And some Sanders backers repeatedly yelled “what about the refugees,” which is a reference to the governor’s opposition late last year to allowing Syrian refugees into the Granite State.

Asked by NH1 News if it’s going to take more than one event to get all of New Hampshire’s Democrats on the same page, Hassan said “I think what you’re seeing is a very united Democratic Party. People have strong passions. They loved the candidates they supported in the primary process. That is clear. But I think you are seeing us coming together as quickly as we ever had. We are going to have unified convention. You heard Sen. Sanders say unequivocally yesterday that we must work as hard as we can to make sure that Hillary Clinton is our next president.”

In his remarks on Tuesday, Sanders called for “a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency, and I intend to be in every corner of this country to make certain that happens.”

Asked if Sanders will campaign with Hassan in her blockbuster U.S. Senate showdown with Ayotte, both the governor’s campaign and one of Sanders’ top political advisers in New Hampshire both said there were no plans in the works as of now.

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