Van Ostern says he's been 'part of the progress'
CONCORD – Colin Van Ostern highlighted his accomplishments on the Executive Council and touted his progressive record as he filed his candidacy for governor.
“When voters look at my record and that of the other candidates running, they’ll see one candidate who's been part of the progress we’re making,” Van Ostern told reporters on Friday, moments after filing.
“I’m very proud to have been part of the large team effort to expand Medicaid so that now 50,000 people have health care coverage that didn’t have it when I was elected to the Council. I’ve been a leader in restoring Planned Parenthood funding three out of the last four years - though it’s shut off right now - and whether or not we get that funding restored, depends on whether or not we win this race. I’ve been a leader in building support for solar energy projects across this state - in Plymouth, in Peterborough, Durham and Portsmouth - and I’ve had a chance to work at some great employers - places like Stonyfield and Southern New Hampshire University, which I think is the largest fastest growing employer in the state right now,” the Democratic Executive Council explained.
Asked by NH1 News if he’s the most progressive Democrat in the race, he said “I think that’s up to voters to choose, not politicians to label themselves.”
“Voters will judge me based on what I fought for and achieved in office. Medicaid expansion. Solar energy. Passenger rail. Restoring Planned Parenthood funding.”
Even though he voted for Hillary Clinton in February’s presidential primary, Van Ostern touted his support from both Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters.
“I’m proud to have been endorsed by the majority of Bernie Sanders’ steering committee in the state and the majority of the grassroots leadership team of state Representatives that endorsed Hillary,” he said.
Van Ostern pledged that “I don’t support a sales tax or an income tax. I don’t think they’re right for our economy. And I would not support them as governor. I also recognize that there are areas that we may need additional revenues. So for example, we could fund full day kindergarten in every single community in our state if we reverse the cut in cigarette taxes that we made four or five years ago. I think it was a dime a pack. Now that sounds to me like a good deal.”
Van Ostern’s running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against former state Rep. Mark Connolly, who for nearly a decade served as the state’s top financial watchdog, and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand.
Van Ostern was accompanied by his wife and their two young sons. Five year old Peter briefly stole the spotlight, as he made funny faces at the reporters asking his father questions.
Executive Councilor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern's five year old son Peter playfully makes faces at reporters, on June 10, 2016