Shawn O'Connor, on the far right, at a Bernie Sanders rally Jan. 3 in Newmarket

Jan 4, 2016 12:59 AM

Steinhauser: First on NH1 News: Shawn O'Connor endorses Bernie Sanders

NH1 Political Director -

NEWMARKET – Hillary Clinton’s locked down most of the major endorsements in New Hampshire, but mark one off for Bernie Sanders.

Sunday the senator from Vermont, who has a slight edge over Clinton in an average of the latest Democratic presidential primary polls in New Hampshire, landed the endorsement of Shawn O’Connor. He’s the businessman from New York City who moved to Bedford a couple of years ago and last summer launched a bid for the Democratic nomination in the state’s 1st congressional district.

O’Connor’s endorsement of Sanders was first reported Sunday morning by NH1 News.

Following a Sanders rally and town hall at the Rockingham Ballroom in Newmarket, O’Connor told NH1 News that his endorsement “was a matter of conscience. It was a matter of principle.”

“For me it was an easy choice. Bernie is the true progressive in this race and he is fighting income inequality, the number one issue in the country,” he said, adding that “part of the reason that I’m with Bernie is that establishment politics has to change.”

O’Connor was with Sanders at events in Londonderry and Plaistow as well as in Newmarket. And he told NH1 News he’ll join Sanders on the campaign trail Monday in Laconia and Manchester.

“And we’ll take it from there,” He added.

O’Connor is facing off against former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea Porter in the Democratic nomination battle in the first district. Shea Porter endorsed Clinton a couple of months ago.

O’Connor, test-prep entrepreneur, has already dropped more than a million dollars of his own money into his bid for the House seat. But he told NH1 News “at the end of the day it’s not about me spending my own money. It’s about the grassroots movement that we have. We have more than 2,000 people who have donated to this campaign, over half of them from New Hampshire who have donated under $200 to this campaign. So we are raising a lot of money from Granite Staters who are ready for change.”

And he added that “I believe that I am the true progressive in this race and I look forward to having many debates in this race, as many debates as Carol Shea Porter would like, because I think that once we put our ideas forward that I will prevail in this race.”

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