Colin Van Ostern speaks with NH1 News in Manchester on May 31, 2016

May 31, 2016 9:45 PM

Van Ostern to file fundraising report soon; urges gubernatorial rivals to join him

NH1 News Political Director

MANCHESTER – Colin Van Ostern says he’s going to file a campaign fundraising report in the next couple of weeks, a full two months before gubernatorial candidates in New Hampshire are required to report their campaign cash numbers.

And he’s urging his rivals for the Corner Office to do the same.

“We're going to make sure that we show who are donors are, do it months before it's required, and hope every other candidate for governor does it also,” the executive councilor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate said in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News on Tuesday outside his campaign headquarters.

The people of New Hampshire deserve open and transparent government,” Van Ostern added. “And frankly I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t do this unless they have something to hide.”

In New Hampshire, gubernatorial candidates can raise up to $5,000 from individual and businesses (and more from political action committees) until they officially file to become candidates. This year the filing period begins on Wednesday and goes through June 10. After they file, candidates can raise a maximum of $1,000 for the primary and another $1,000 for the general election from individuals and businesses

Candidates have to file their reports on August 23, which is just three weeks before the September 13 primary. That means candidates like Van Ostern (who announced last October) and Republican Executive Councilor Chris Sununu (who announced last Labor Day) can legally campaign for nearly a year before reporting their fundraising figures.

Van Ostern told NH1 News there’s precedent for filing early.

“There’s no question we need to reform our campaign finance laws in New Hampshire. But part of leading is leading by examples. So we’re not going to wait for the laws to get fixed. We’re going to put out our fundraising report just as in 2012, the last time there was an open seat race for governor. Gov. Hassan and Jackie Cilley, both did. And frankly I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t do this unless they have something to hide.”

When Hassan announced last autumn that she’d launch a Democratic challenge against Ayotte rather than run for a third term in the Corner Office, it triggered a wide open race for governor. Besides Van Ostern, former state Rep. Mark Connolly, who served nearly a decade as the state’s top financial watchdog, and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, are also running for the Democratic nomination.

Besides Sununu, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, state Sen. Jeanie Forrester, and state Rep. Frank Edelblut are also running for the GOP nomination.

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