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May 27, 2016 9:56 AM

Steinhauser: Bradley, Woodburn talk about battle for control of NH Senate

NH1 News Political Director

Steinhauser: Bradley, Woodburn talk about battle for control of state Senate

CONCORD – Jeb Bradley says “it’s going to be a long hot summer and then an even hotter fall.”

New Hampshire’s Senate majority leader was describing the political battle for control of the chamber, which is up for grabs in November’s elections.

The Republican from Wolfeboro told NH1 News that keeping control of the state Senate in GOP hands will “depend on each individual candidate and each individual race, but I am very confident that we’re going to be fine.”

Republicans currently control the chamber 14 to 10. But 6 of the 8 state senators not running for re-election are Republicans. And the two Democrats not running, Sens. Molly Kelly of Harrisville and David Pierce, represent districts considered relatively safe for their party. The two week filing period for candidacy period begins on Tuesday.

Bradley said that his party’s “going to run on a record of accomplishment, working for better economic growth in the state, lower health care costs, energy costs, lower worker’s compensation costs.”

When it comes to recruitment efforts to defend the six open GOP seats, Bradley said “there are a lot of good people that have signed up or said they’re going to sign up to run.”

It’s a presidential election year, and Bradley said that “top of the ticket candidates, especially the presidential race, will matter, but I think in the end people will respond to individual candidates knocking on doors and doing all the type of grassroots things that you have to do in a Senate campaign.”

Asked whether having presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump at the top of ticket helps or hurts, Bradley answered that “he has also shown an ability to bring crossover voters to the Republican Party. I think that’s going to be important.”

Bradley endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the lead up to New Hampshire’s presidential primary. Christie’s now a top surrogate for Trump. Asked if he’d like to see Christie back in the Granite State to campaign this summer and fall, Bradley, who’s an avid hiker, said “I would love to see governor Christie again. He’s a tireless campaigner. Maybe he’ll even join me in a climb in the Presidentials this summer.”

Woodburn’s take

With Republicans having to defend six open seats, you’d think Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn would by dancing in the streets.

But the top Democrat in the chamber, told NH1 News that “we focus on one vote at a time, one race at a time, but we have very strong candidates rooted in their community. We didn’t draft them. They’re interested in serving their community. They’re committed to public service.”

Woodburn said a key to winning for the Democrats is turnout.

“We always want large turnout. And whatever the presidential race looks like, we want more participation, and when people participate we feel Democrats traditionally win.”

Woodburn said that “we’re really focused on those swing districts,” and touted that “we’re going to compete everywhere.”

But he went on to say “these elections are about people. Not about strategy. Not about candidates and national trends. It’s about getting out there, listening and learning, looking people in the eye and earning their trust.”

State Sen. Majority Leader Jeb Bradley talks with NH1 News on Thursday May 26, 2016


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