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Full slate of 1st CD Democratic congressional candidates debate in Dover

Union Leader Correspondent

August 17. 2018 12:19PM

DOVER — All 11 Democratic candidates for the First Congressional District showed up for the New Hampshire Democratic Party forum at Dover Middle School Thursday night.

Common topics of concern highlighted by candidates included economic security for the middle class, higher education that is paid for by taxpayers, gun control, a clean environment and a single-payer medical care system.

Some of the lesser-known candidates spoke about campaign finance reform. Paul Cardinal, 35, of Merrimack, talked about the amount of money raised by the more popular establishment candidates.

William Martin, 34, of Manchester, echoed Cardinal’s statements.

“I’m only taking money from two people. The income from myself and my wife,” Martin said.

Martin said he is running for Congress because he has spent most of his life on the sidelines writing letters to leaders about his concerns. He believes in long-term materials so cars and clothes washers last 30 years and funding the Environmental Protection Agency so research can be done to clean up pollution.

Naomi Andrews, 36, who grew up in Epping, is Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s longtime chief of staff. She said she would promote an Apollo-type program to save the environment.

“I believe in the power of the human mind and spirit. When we as Americans say we are going to do something, we do it,” Andrews said.

Andrews said she has spoken with ReVison Solar locally and company owners there say the technology has come far enough that if given an even playing field against coal and oil they could be a viable player in the energy field.

Andrews is endorsed by Shea-Porter, D-N.H., who is not running for re-election.

There were some tense moments during the forum.

As Maura Sullivan, 38, who moved to Portsmouth from Washington, D.C. after serving in the Obama Administration, spoke about her military service and said fellow candidate Terence O’Rourke, 39, of Alton, should apologize for saying he is the only person running who has engaged in service combat, he lashed out and asked about her specific wartime experiences.

O’Rourke was nearly kicked out of the forum.

Sullivan and Chris Pappas, 38, both said they would fight for a full-service Veterans Administration hospital in New Hampshire.

“They stood up for us. We need to stand up for them,” Pappas said. He is endorsed by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H..

Pappas said Democrats cannot afford to lose the Congressional seat and there is an opportunity to secure it.

“There’s disunity in the Republican Party. They’re not supporting each other,” Pappas said.

Also participating in the forum were Mark S. Mackenzie, 64, of Manchester; Deaglan McEachern, 34, of Portsmouth; Mindi Messmer, 55, of Rye; Levi Sanders, 49, of Claremont; and Lincoln Soldati, 69, of Portsmouth.

The primary will be held Sept. 11.


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