Oct 26, 2016 11:12 PM
NH1 News Political Director
CONCORD – Republican nominee Chris Sununu and his fellow executive councilor and Democratic nominee Colin Van Ostern questioned each other’s ethics as they traded fire in the NH1 News gubernatorial debate.
The two major party candidates vying to succeed Gov. Maggie Hassan in the Corner Office also criticized each other over the state’s controversial contract to staff New Hampshire Hospital, resumed their ongoing battle over each other’s business credentials, and disagreed over issues ranging from health care, the state’s Medicaid expansion program, college affordability, and the state’s minimum wage.
Last month Dartmouth Hitchcock announced that it would potentially lay off hundreds of employees by the end of the year. That announcement came just two days after all five executive councilors voted ago to approve the three-year contract with Dartmouth Hitchcock, which was the only bidder to take over staffing of the mental health care facilities at New Hampshire Hospital in Concord. That vote came amid rising concerns of staffing shortages at the facility.
Since then, Sununu’s urged that the contract be rebid.
Van Ostern opposes such a move, saying that “what he’s suggesting now would mean less doctors, less nurses.”
Sununu shot back, asking “how would we have less doctors by providing choice?”
Hours before the debate Sununu highlighted the campaign contributions Van Ostern’s received from Dartmouth-Hitchcock and employees who work at the medical provider, and suggested that those contributions may have influenced Van Ostern’s position on the contract.
During the debate, Sununu charged that “the fact that you’ve taken $40,000 brings into the question of ethics, of morality, and of checks and balances. Are we going to have a governor that always puts politics first, that puts the dollars in his campaign first. I say absolutely not.”
The argument quickly broke out into a verbal fist fight over ethics, with Van Ostern saying “I’m not going to have any mock outrage from Chris Sununu on this. He’s taken tens of thousands of dollars from the biggest utility company in the state while we sit together on the Council and he votes against every solar energy project.”
“His brothers run a lobbying and public affairs firm and he votes in favor of their clients,” Van Ostern claimed.
“Once again we have another lie by Colin Van Ostern. My brothers are not lobbyists,” Sununu shot back.
Both candidates also tried to paint their rival as beholden to Washington.
"He wants to defer to Washington, let them make all the decisions. This is New Hampshire. This is the 'Live Free or Die' state," Sununu said. "Local control matters."
Later in the debate, Van Ostern claimed that Sununu was speaking out of both sides of his mouth in “the Washington way.”
Top of the Ticket
Asked about his support for GOP nominee Donald Trump, even after the emergence of an extremely lewd audio recording from 11 years ago of Trump boasting that his celebrity allowed him to physically accost women, Sununu once again described the language as “repugnant” and “disgusting.”
Van Ostern countered that Sununu’s continued support of Trump was political opportunism.
“Of the 31 Republican governors around the country, one of out of three have now said they won’t support Donald Trump. It takes being independent minded. And the fact that Chris won’t put what’s right for the people of our country ahead of what’s right for his own politics speaks poorly to the sort of governor that he’ll be for our state,” Van Ostern claimed.
Sununu responded that “this is about our country, this is not about our party. To say that Donald Trump somehow defines our party, I think we know is a foolish statement.”
But Van Ostern shot back that “the reason that he does define the Republican Party is because politicians like Chris Sununu stick with him even after everything that he said.”
The NH1 News debate was the second of the three prime-time televised debates the two nominees agreed to attend.
Hours before the debate a Monmouth University survey of likely Granite State voters indicated Van Ostern with a slight 48%-43% edge over Sununu. But an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll also released Wednesday afternoon suggested a closer contest, with Van Ostern at 47% and Sununu at 46%.
15 hours 22 minutes agoAlmost a month after 34 cats were seized from a Barnstead home, up to 10 of the cats are still pending surgery at the...
14 hours 38 minutes agoPolice arrested a woman after she left her 2-year-old in her running vehicle while she shopped at Target Saturday. (More)
16 hours 14 minutes agoThe newly appointed deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee says the Democratic party can't spend all of its energy focusing on Republican President...
21 hours 34 minutes agoA Tilton felon is facing drug and gun charges after police allegedly saw him slumped over the wheel of his car Saturday around 1...
Mar 24, 2017 5:19 PMWhile executing a search warrant, police seized what is believed to be psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, and butane honey oil. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 9:33 AMNew Hampshire State Police arrested to wanted fugitives after stopping a van full of people who entered the United States illegally. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:59 PMTwo influential members of New Hampshire’s state Senate predict that a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession will pass their chamber. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:51 PMSnow fell faster than expected today, accumulating a few inches in parts of central and northern New Hampshire through late-afternoon. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 12:39 PMA woman is facing drug charges after being found in possession of heroin during a parole check-in. She was arrested for possession of a...
Mar 23, 2017 4:16 PMState Police rearrested a Wales man for stealing electricity from a Central Maine Power pole and transformer. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 4:59 PMA Stafford County corrections officer allegedly tried bringing thousands of dollars of drugs into the jail was supposed to get deployed. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 11:09 AMIt's the first Friday of spring, but Granite Staters will have some snow to deal with. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 9:02 AMThe effort to crack down on drug-related crimes - known NH-wide as Operation Granite Hammer - led to the arrests of 2 suspected heroin...
Mar 23, 2017 3:02 PMA Keene man was indicted for allegedly strangling two of his then-girlfriend's cats. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 1:28 PMDemocrats filed a complaint with the ethics committee arguing Sununu violated rules against using his position to secure advantages for himself or others. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 5:27 PMNicole Guida, owner of Chic & Unique, a boutique shop located in Littleton, is requesting a jury trial against a former customer who caused...
Mar 22, 2017 6:02 PMA Strafford County corrections officer allegedly attempted to bring heroin into the jail before being detained by police. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 11:01 AMChelsea Blais plead not guilty to abusing children in her care at the Alpha Bits Learning Center, where police say she force fed and...
Mar 22, 2017 10:15 AMNYPD seized over $4.1 million and over three kilograms (6 pounds) of heroin, unraveling a multi-state drug ring — involving New England. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 4:06 PMNew Hampshire is often in the 'weather battle zone' this time of year, which isn't a good thing if you are looking for spring...
Mar 22, 2017 10:45 AMNew Hampshire’s top public officials Wednesday marked the death of state Sen. Scott McGilvray. The first term Democratic state senator from Hooksett and president...
Mar 22, 2017 7:33 AMThe National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 10 a.m. Wednesday to midnight. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 10:29 PMA report released on Tuesday by the state agency that licenses childcare centers revealed multiple incidents of verbal and physical abuse committed by a...
Mar 21, 2017 6:40 PMA mother and her friend who injected her with heroin while she was in labor in September 2016 will not be facing felony charges...
Mar 21, 2017 4:09 PMA 74-year-old Mass. man living in public housing for the elderly faces drug trafficking charges after police say they found cocaine valued at about...
Mar 21, 2017 12:09 PMDerry Police say a home was shot at and struck at least 6 times early Tuesday morning, but no one was hurt. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 12:26 PMA woman has been charge with assault against three infants at a Manchester day care center. The three victims are all younger than 1-years-old....
Mar 20, 2017 4:05 PMA man who pleaded guilty to supplying a person in Rochester with a deadly dose of drugs will spend between 8- and 16-years in...
Mar 20, 2017 4:01 PMOnlyInYourState.com has provided nine places in the Granite State where you might be able to spot a ghost. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 2:31 PMPolice are searching for a man who allegedly punched and injured another man at a diner in Manchester. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 3:56 PMA 21-year-old man destroyed his family home after trying to exterminate ants with wooden matches, killing their two cats and a dog. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 4:14 PMA state representative cited house rules when she told a New Hampshire man to stop recording a committee meeting - rules that apparently do...
Mar 19, 2017 5:08 PMA new kind of roller coaster experience is set to premiere next month at Six Flags New England. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 9:40 AMAuthorities say Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl XLIX jerseys "found in the possession of a credentialed member of international media." (More)
Mar 18, 2016 10:37 AMA drug sweep on Thursday afternoon and evening netted four arrests, a pound of suspected cocaine and $7,000 in cash. (More)
Mar 19, 2017 11:56 AMDisney's live-action 'Beauty' was a beast at the box office, opening with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales and setting a...
Mar 19, 2017 10:06 AMToll booth workers could be a thing of the past under a bill before the New Hampshire House. (More)
Mar 19, 2017 10:48 AMA Windham man sustained life-threatening injuries when his snowmobile collided with a tree. (More)
Mar 19, 2017 11:23 AMA snowmobiler fell through thin ice, causing a difficult rescue by Wakefield Fire and EMS. (More)
Mar 18, 2017 1:33 PMA Boscawen man is accused of driving 104 mph in a 65 mph speed zone around 9:40 a.m. Saturday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 5:07 PMAn Exeter High School guidance counselor has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault against an underage female student. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 4:26 PMA Pembroke mother held a gun to her daughter's head and shouted "You (expletive) piece of (expletive)," according to court paperwork. (More)
Mar 18, 2017 8:24 AMUtility crews are still mopping up in New Hampshire after a powerful nor'easter. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 11:30 AMA 62-year-old man passed away after his snowmobile got stuck in while attempting to get up a hill on Trail 21 in Stewartstown. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 1:13 PMThe Nashua Police Department arrested five more people for various drug-related crimes in connection with Operation Granite Hammer Thursday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 10:37 AMCitizens Bank is experiencing transaction delays affecting customer accounts. The company acknowledged the problem on its social media accounts Friday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 8:42 AMThe New Hampshire Attorney General identified the man who was found dead in a Farmington home Wednesday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 7:52 AMA Pembroke mother is facing charges after allegedly pointing a gun at her daughter during an argument. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 8:22 AMPolice responded to the hotel around 11:30 p.m. to find a 43-year-old man that was "actively" bleeding due to severe injuries on his face....