NH Democratic leaders stress need to get out the vote at Dover rally
By Karen Dandurant
October 3, 2020
DOVER — The top tier of New Hampshire Democratic leaders gathered for a rally Saturday at the Dover Elks Lodge, but two people not in attendance were on many people’s minds.
Democrats wished President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump a speedy recovery from COVID-19, even as they expressed solid support for his Democratic rival Joe Biden. President Trump remains hospitalized while undergoing treatment for the coronavirus.
“Let’s have a moment of silence for the president and his wife,” said state Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, who led the event. “We wish them well and hope they have a good recovery.”
“We all wish the president and first lady a quick recovery,” added U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. “This serves as a reminder of how difficult this coronavirus is, and that we need to do what the health officials tell us. It also speaks to the fact that we are not getting the economy back until we get on top of this.”
The other interesting note offered by Watters is that Saturday would have been Apple Harvest Day in Dover, an event that traditionally brings about 50,000 people to the city. In honor of the day, Shaheen arrived with apple cider, apple doughnuts and maple cake for everyone.
The event was held in the Elks’ parking lot off Route 108. There were campaign signs and music and many of the candidates were glad to connect with their constituents again.
Shaheen said COVID-19 took hold of the country because of the Republican administration “with no plan to address it.”
“It is so important to continue to wear a mask to continue social distancing,” Shaheen said. “Then we need Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because they do have a plan. People need help. Small businesses are worried about winter, particularly restaurants who have been surviving with outside service but will need to bring their people inside.”
Shaheen said there are challenges to cities and schools, who need funding for things like cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.
On the Supreme Court, Shaheen said Democrats want an appointment to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg held off until after the election. She said that will be tough as the Senate is controlled by Republicans.
“We need to flip the Senate because they are not supporting the priorities of our people,” Shaheen said. “Failure is not an option. Let’s send Colorado Corky (Messner) back to the Rockies where he belongs.”
Messner, a Republican, is challenging Shaheen this fall.
Gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes, a Democratic state senator from Concord, compared his lineage to that of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.
“My dad was not governor, was not a U.S. senator,” Feltes said. “My dad worked in a furniture factory, my mom worked part-time jobs while raising four kids and right after law school I served as a legal aid lawyer representing low to middle-income families who need help, seniors, and veterans, helping people during the last economic crisis, the Great Recession, and so many of the people who were falling through the cracks now, working people and working families, were the same people falling through the cracks then.”
Feltes said he wants to see a fair minimum wage and benefits for essential workers. He wants to fight for healthcare.
U.S. Congressman Chris Pappas, D-N.H., said everything the people of this country care about is on the line with this election.
“Healthcare and this pandemic, the economic health of our people, racial injustice and environmental justice are all at stake here,” Pappas said. “A woman’s right to choose. The freedom of individuals to organize. And this virus is not going to magically disappear, and we need to support our people, to support our small businesses.
“We need to raise our voices because we are the greatest country on Earth, and we need to show the world how tough we are.”
Pappas noted he is running in a district that hasn’t re-elected a candidate since 2008.
“I need your help,” he said. “I am all New Hampshire and we can’t allow Republicans to get in the way of our values. This is a great country and we can make it better if we do the work.”