In a very early move, Marchand announces second bid for NH governor
CONCORD – It’s take two for Steve Marchand.
The 2016 Democratic gubernatorial candidate announced on Monday that he’s launching a 2018 bid for New Hampshire governor.
“We can make New Hampshire the best place in America to start and raise a family, and the best place to start and grow a business. We will aspire to be the example of what America, at our best, can be. That's why I'm running for governor,” Marchand said in an email release to supporters.
Although he trailed far behind his rivals last year in campaign fundraising and organization, Marchand came in a surprise second in September’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern easily won the contest, but Marchand grabbed around a quarter of the vote, beating Mark Connolly for second place.
The announcement by Marchand comes extremely early in the 2018 cycle, with three months still to go in the state budget process. Reacting to Marchand's move, Connolly told NH1 News "it's premature. It's too early."
In his extremely early campaign announcement, Marchand took aim at Republican President Donald Trump, saying “after watching Donald Trump's chaotic, unhinged brand of ‘leadership’, we need to show what competent, optimistic, aspirational leadership can do.”
And he also targeted Gov. Chris Sununu, who topped Van Ostern in last November’s general election to become the state’s first GOP governor in a dozen years.
“After watching Chris Sununu prioritize right-wing positions on privatizing public education, weakening unions, discouraging voter turnout, failing to lead on LGBTQ equality, and pushing tax cuts for a small number of large companies at the expense of everybody else, it's more clear to me than ever that New Hampshire deserves a Governor who can make New Hampshire the best state in America to start a family and start a business,” Marchand wrote.
Marchand served as director of corporate relations for the University of New Hampshire and later served as Portsmouth mayor from 2005-08.
In 2014 he became state director for No Labels, the national movement of Democrats, Republicans and independent voters who say they’re dedicated to bipartisan efforts to solve the nation’s problems. But during last year’s primary, Marchand ran to the left of Van Ostern and even Connolly on numerous issues, including the legalization of marijuana.
Asked about the timing of Marchand's announcement, Connolly told NH1 New that now is the "time to govern" and that the "focus should be on the budget" right now.
"We should be working with our leadership in the Senate and House to get our best possible budget for the state," he added.
Connolly said that his focus is on his business at this moment and that right now "I don't have any plans to run for governor."
But he said that "after the budget plays out... I'll consider running again if the ideas I offered in 2016 aren't being fully addressed."
"But certainly at this stage you don’t say if you’re in or you're out," Connolly added.
The New Hampshire GOP also reacted to the news.
Patrick Hynes, a top adviser to the NHGOP, told NH1 News "with New Hampshire Democrats, it’s all politics all the time. It’s only five months after the last election and they are already plotting for the next one. Sad."
READ MARCHAND’S ANNOUNCEMENT:
I'm excited to share my news: I'm running for Governor.
Last year, with the encouragement of my friends and family, I made a last-minute entry into the 2016 race. We did well — far better than anyone expected.
After watching Donald Trump's chaotic, unhinged brand of "leadership", we need to show what competent, optimistic, aspirational leadership can do.
And after watching Chris Sununu prioritize right-wing positions on privatizing public education, weakening unions, discouraging voter turnout, failing to lead on LGBTQ equality, and pushing tax cuts for a small number of large companies at the expense of everybody else, it's more clear to me than ever that New Hampshire deserves a Governor who can make New Hampshire the best state in America to start a family and start a business.
You see, I know what economic anxiety feels like for many families today, because I grew up as a first-generation American on the West Side of Manchester in a working-class home.
My parents were immigrants to this country and neither graduated high school. Their work ethic was unmatched. They started small businesses. And they played by the rules. There were times of deep economic anxiety along the way — and they never stopped working. They are America.
Through their hard work, I was able to be the first in my family to go to college. I've had good jobs in the public and private sectors. I've been an auditor of state, county, and local governments. Spent times with scores of New Hampshire businesses in my job at UNH. And I've had the honor of serving the City of Portsmouth as a councilor and mayor.
I've lived the American Dream here in New Hampshire, and it gives me the optimism and confidence that future working families can live it, too.
But it's going to take leadership different from what we're getting in Concord or Washington right now. Chip in now and let’s get this campaign started off right!
Too many people think we have to choose: Either we help working people and their families, or we focus on growing our economy. But my experience shows me that the right priorities do both:
- We must deliver America's best educational outcomes for our kids -- from pre-K on up to high school and college.
- We have to support our small businesses and striving entrepreneurs - our greatest job creators.
- We need to fix our roads, bridges, sewers, and electric grid - because why should businesses invest in New Hampshire, if New Hampshire won't invest in New Hampshire?
- We need a health care system that's stable, affordable, and accessible - including becoming a national leader in preventing and treating substance abuse and addiction.
We have so much to do. But if we recognize that we're all in this together, we can get it done.
We can make New Hampshire the best place in America to start and raise a family, and the best place to start and grow a business. We will aspire to be the example of what America, at our best, can be.
That's why I'm running for Governor.
I'm fired up. Let's do it!