Oct 14, 2015 8:30 PM
Despite unfavorable poll numbers and a lack of support from his party's leadership, Republican First District Congressman Frank Guinta sounded upbeat this week as he talked with NH1 Radio News about several initiatives.
This week Guinta, along with Second District Congresswoman Anne Kuster, announced the creation of the Bipartisan Task Force to combat the heroin epidemic. Their first act was to jointly introduce the "Stop the Overuse Problem Already Becoming a Universal Substance Epidemic (STOP ABUSE) Act". Among its goals is to secure funding for local communities, including for the establishment of drug courts to better aid those in the grip of addiction.
"We need the drug court", says Guinta. "We need the treatment facilities, otherwise those who are abuse and are addicted to herion and other opiates are simply not going to go through the proper recovery".
Guinta says other task force members will be announced in the coming weeks, and he and Kuster are planning to hold task force hearings in both Washington DC and New Hampshire.
Thursday, the Congressman will be holding a town hall meeting at Merrimack Town Hall at 5pm. The event comes just a week after the release of a poll that suggested that half of registered voters in the 1st District think he should resign his seat in the wake of the controversy over his campaign finances. Guinta was fined by the Federal Elections Commission last spring for taking money from his parents' bank account to fund his 2010 election campaign. Guinta maintains the money was his. GOP leaders, including state party chair Jennifer Horn and Kelly Ayotte, called on him to resign, something he's refused to do.
Asked if the poll numbers concern him, Guinta says "The politics sort of takes care of itself. I need to and will continue to focus on the substantive policy issues that are important to families here in New Hampshire."
Former 1st District Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, who Guinta defeated in 2010, lost the seat back to in 2012 and beat for a second time in 2014, has already announced she'll be looking to unseat Guinta in 2016.
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