There is a GOP primary for Governor in New Hampshire

Karen Testerman speaking at a New Hampshire rally

New Hampshire voters will go to the polls on September 8 for a primary election. Republican Governor Chris Sununu has competition.

Karen Testerman is on the ballot

Karen Testerman is on the GOP primary ballot for Governor. You might or might not like her; you might think she’s well- or ill-equipped for the job; you might or might not agree with her that Sununu has botched the state’s COVID-19 response; you might think she’s a gadfly or a “protest” candidate. But she is on the GOP primary ballot, and she is campaigning like she means it.

From GraniteGrok: Was challenger Karen Testerman’s lawn sign deemed non-essential by the NHGOP or was it the Governor?

I interviewed Karen in 2013 as she contemplated a Senate run. Now, as then, she is a social conservative. That’s not what she led with when she launched her challenge to Governor Sununu: she challenged him over the social, business, and education fallout from the COVID-19 emergency orders he has issued. More recently she has made a point of broadening her message to reaffirm the positions for which she is well-known.

Sununu’s numbers

Governor Sununu has a 70% approval rating, according to a recent UNH poll, reaching 90% among registered Republicans. With numbers like that, I doubt he’s losing sleep over competition from within his own party.

Even so, there are a couple of other names along with his on the gubernatorial primary ballot. There is a person called “Nobody” who went to the trouble of filing, for reasons unknown to me. (I haven’t asked.) And then there’s Karen Testerman.

I’m not endorsing in this primary race, publicly or privately. I am far more concerned about down-ballot races than I am about the top of the state-level ticket. I’m just saying that the 70%-approval-rating guy does not have the ballot to himself.

When you find a candidate you want to support, get busy. Candidates always need volunteers. In my experience, endorsements don’t amount to a hill of beans next to a strong, organized volunteer corps. Endorsements don’t go door to door (even in COVID time), make calls, arrange online meet-and-greets, make donations, or stand at the polls with a sign. Volunteers do that.

(Note that Democrats have a gubernatorial primary as well: Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky vs. State Senator Dan Feltes. That’s a straightforward competition. Neither candidate is pretending the other isn’t there.)

Author: Ellen Kolb

New Hampshire-based writer, pro-life activist, hiker.