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Dec 15, 2014 5:17 PM

Kevin Landrigan: Bill Shaheen becomes new Democratic National Comitteeman


The New Hampshire Democratic Party turned to a familiar face to fill out an unexpired term on the Democratic National Committee at a critical time.

Bill Shaheen, the husband of re-elected U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, was the overwhelming choice of his peers at its annual meeting over the weekend.

Bill Shaheen replaces longtime Committeeman and ex-State Sen. Peter Burling, a Cornish Democrat, who is stepping down early.

In a secret ballot vote, Shaheen beat two opponents, 137-2.

"It's quite an honor and I'm really looking forward to helping as much as I can,'' Shaheen said during an interview with NH1.

Priority one, Shaheen said is to protect the first-in-the-nation tradition here.

"The first thing is to make sure we preserve the New Hampshire primary, that's so important especially after this election when money became such a factor in all of these races and as a result, New Hampshire is still the only state, probably the only state where a person with an idea, man or woman, can come into the state, organize the people and win an election,'' Shaheen said.

The move comes soon after his wife, Jeanne, won re-election in a tough battle with former, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.

The assignment all but extinguishes the last, national political memory for Bill Shaheen he surely would just as soon forget.

Shaheen was forced to resign as a national co-chair of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2007 after he had said Barack Obama's past drug use would cause the party problems if Obama was the nominee.

Right after the comments from Shaheen, Hillary Clinton apologized for the remarks and Shaheen stepped aside.

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