Observations on the Republican candidates for N.H. Governor 2016

For what it’s worth, I offer a few notes on votes cast by the people running for New Hampshire Governor in the Republican primary.

I’m not ignoring the Democrats. It’s just that I refuse to pretend that there are any distinctions among them on the right to life and the desirability of forcing you and me to hand money to abortion providers. PPNNE’s Action Fund has endorsed Colin Van Ostern, if that tells you anything.

Clockwise from upper left: Frank Edelblut. Jeanie Forrester, Chris Sununu, Ted Gatsas. Gatsas photo: Facebook; all others from nh.gov.
Clockwise from upper left: Frank Edelblut. Jeanie Forrester, Chris Sununu, Ted Gatsas. Gatsas photo: Facebook; all others from nh.gov.

I’ve interviewed Frank Edelblut. He’s got a decent voting record in his one and only House term. (I tracked some 2015 and 2016 votes.) He’s been endorsed by New Hampshire Right to Life PAC (and the name is spelled “Edelblut,” folks).

Jeanie Forrester has been a state senator for three terms. Her record can’t be compared directly with Rep. Edelblut’s, since most life issue bills originate and are killed in the House.

  • She voted for the parental notification law (HB 329) that was passed in 2011 over John Lynch’s veto.
  • In 2012, she supported the fetal homicide bill (HB 217) that came achingly close to passage, falling to a veto. She supported the ban on partial birth abortion (HB 1679, which became law). She voted against killing the Women’s Right to Know bill (HB 1659, also known as Informed Consent). She voted to send a post-20-week abortion restriction to interim study, effectively killing the bill. She voted along with 16 other senators to table a bill to restrict public funding of abortion providers (HB 228).
  • In 2014, she opposed repealing the death penalty (HB 1170).
  • In 2015 and 2016, when fetal homicide bills (HB 560 and SB 40) got bogged down, she ended up along with several pro-life colleagues voting for troublesome Senate language that had been amended to define “viable” [fetus] as being “capable of sustained extrauterine survival.” If that language was designed to pick up votes from a couple of resistant Republican senators – as I suspect it was – it fell short. (See my coverage of these bills.)

Ted Gatsas was a five-term state senator before being elected mayor of Manchester. In the Senate in 2003, he supported a parental notification bill that became law only to be repealed a few years later. (A second bill passed after Gatsas left office and remains in effect.) In 2007, when the Senate considered a bill to ban the Department of Health and Human Services from entering into contracts with abortion providers (SB 77), he voted against killing the bill. In 2008, pro-abortion senators tried to pass an “adult involvement” bill (SB 527) as an alternative to parental notification for minors seeking abortion. Gatsas voted against the bill, before it was sent to interim study on a voice vote.

And then there’s Chris Sununu. He has thrice voted as an Executive Councilor to give contracts – that’s your money – to abortion providers (2011, 2014, 2016). He managed to vote against one Planned Parenthood contract in August of 2015, but his recent vote flipped that and sent him back to what is apparently his comfort zone. He has no legislative record to confirm where he stands on other life-issue policies.

I strongly advise concerned voters to contact candidates directly for more information.