Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire U.S. Senate Candidate
By Tony Schinella
September 29, 2020
Age (as of Election Day)
Husband, Bill; 3 Children, Stacey, Stefany, and Molly; 7 grandchildren
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Daughter, Stefany Shaheen, Portsmouth Police Commissioner; Son-in-law, Craig Welch, Portsmouth Housing Authority Executive Director
Shippensburg University, BA (English); University of Mississippi, M.S.S. (Political Science)
● Teacher, Dover High School and Water Valley High School (MS)
● Small business owner and manager
● Madbury Zoning Board of Adjustment, chairwoman
● Director, Parents Association, UNH
● Co-director, Somersworth Children’s Festival
● Director, Harvard Institute of Politics
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
● N.H. State Senator
● U.S. Senator
Why are you seeking elective office?
New Hampshire families deserve a Senator who will fight for them, and that has never been more true than it is today. Every day, I hear from small business owners who are struggling, from parents who need help paying rent and putting food on the table, and from our health care workers who are on the front lines of this crisis. That’s who I’m fighting for.
As Governor, I extended affordable health insurance coverage to tens of thousands of New Hampshire children and in the U.S. Senate, I have taken on my own party to increase opioid response funding, and secured a tenfold increase to help our response to the addiction crisis. I know we can do so much more, and I will work to expand health care access so that no Granite Stater is struggling to afford life-saving care or prescription drugs, to combat climate change so that we can preserve our beautiful state for generations to come, and to boost our economy by creating new, green-energy jobs. And I will keep pushing for COVID-19 relief and support so that we can get our economy and our normal lives back on track.
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
My top priority is ensuring that during this pandemic, New Hampshire has the resources to support small businesses, towns, families, and health care providers that are most affected.
I raised the alarm about the coronavirus weeks before the Trump administration was willing to take it seriously, and my focus has remained on making a difference for Granite Staters during this difficult time. Tens of thousands of New Hampshire businesses have received more than $2.5 billion in aid, and I continue to work across the aisle because more help is needed to help small businesses to keep their doors open and their employees paid.
We are going to get through this crisis by working together. I’ll keep pushing for more testing and an America-based supply chain for protective equipment and medical supplies to stop the spread of COVID-19, making sure our health care providers and hospitals have what they need, so we can help us get our economy moving and ensure this never happens again.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
There’s a big difference between me and my opponent when it comes to health care and addressing the pandemic. Among my top priorities are expanding health care access and lowering prescription drug costs, and I am leading legislative efforts to protect the Affordable Care Act and the hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters who depend on it for health care. My opponent supports Republican efforts in Washington to repeal the ACA and gut protections for more than half a million Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions. Further, he opposes bipartisan efforts to lower prescription drug costs, including legislation I have sponsored to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which would make a big difference to New Hampshire families.
During the pandemic I have worked across the aisle to deliver bipartisan aid packages that help Granite Staters who are struggling. When COVID first hit, my opponent endorsed a Republican bill that had zero dollars in state aid for New Hampshire. I knew it was wrong for our state and helped secure a better deal with $1.25 billion more in aid to help our schools, local towns and cities, and front line workers. Right now I am continuing to push for additional aid that will make a difference for New Hampshire, and my opponent is once again proposing that I accept a disastrous aid package with zero dollars in state aid, zero dollars for health care providers, and inadequate funding for our schools and for testing. That bill failed on a bipartisan vote, and my opponent’s support for it shows that he does not understand the urgent challenges facing our state.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform:
Among my top priorities are standing up for women and protecting our veterans. Throughout my career, I have done whatever it takes to protect a woman’s access to a full range of health care services. As Governor, I repealed a law making abortion a felony and signed legislation requiring insurance companies to cover birth control. In the Senate, I wrote the law establishing nationwide rights and protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, fought for equal pay and more affordable childcare, and I have helped block Republican efforts to take away a woman’s right to choose.
Granite State veterans put their lives on the line for our country, and I will always fight to make a difference for them and ensure they get the benefits and services they’ve earned. My office has helped thousands of New Hampshire veterans access their benefits, and I took on my own party to get veterans access to health care closer to home and outside the VA. Our veterans deserve quality care, and I have worked with Democrats and Republicans to reform the VA and reduce wait times for veterans who need to see a doctor.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
Partisan gridlock too often blocks progress but I have always worked and continue working across the aisle for bipartisan solutions that make a difference for New Hampshire. For example, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to increase funding to confront the opioid crisis. For New Hampshire, it meant a tenfold increase in opioid funding. I worked across the aisle to create and fund the first-ever national health study on PFAS contamination, which is being piloted in New Hampshire, and to save critical construction projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard when President Trump tried to raid their funding last year.
The best advice ever shared with me was …
“Never give up!”
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?