October 31, 2020 In the News

Shaheen in Portsmouth: No bipartisanship with Trump, McConnell

Seacoast Online
By Karen Dandurant
October 31, 2020

PORTSMOUTH — Candidates were out canvassing the state this weekend in efforts to earn every last vote before Tuesday’s elections.

Democratic supporters met with members of the state’s Washington delegation on Saturday, at the Portsmouth home of former N.H. Speaker of the House Terie Norelli, cementing plans to canvas the city and get out the vote.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Congressman Chris Pappas, D-N.H., are up for reelection on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., is not, but came out to support her colleagues, hoping to return an all Democratic delegation to Washington.

“It’s nice to be among people,” Hassan said. “We have about 78 hours until the election, but who’s counting?”

Hassan criticized Republicans’ priorities in regard to the COVID-19 response and the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We should be putting together a bipartisan COVID bill together,” Hassan said. “People need help. Instead, in the midst of a pandemic, the Republican Senate rushed through their confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.”

“I am the staging location for Portsmouth for the lit drops,” Norelli said. “We will be working, handing out literature and asking for votes right up to the day of the election. We will have people, who are respecting COVID, but still willing to distribute literature to voters.”

Laurie McCray, chair of the Portsmouth Democratic Committee, said thousands of ballots already have been processed. She said phone banks have been operating, all in efforts to return Shaheen and Pappas to Washington, and to return state Democrats to their seats.

“We have the two best senators in the country,” McCray said. “My favorite congressman ever, Chris Pappas, needs to return to Washington. We need every vote in Portsmouth.”

Norelli said New Hampshire has the best federal delegation in the country.

“They are caring, have empathy and are committed to doing the right thing,” Norelli said. “In 1996, Jeanne Shaheen was elected as our first woman governor and then she was elected as the first woman in U.S. history to be elected governor and a U.S. senator. Then Maggie Hassan became the second women to make that history.”

“We can’t retire Mitch McConnell without electing Jeanne Shaheen,” Pappas said. “We flipped the majority in the House and in the last few years, we have been a firewall against the worst instincts of this president. To have the administration and the Senate burying their heads in the sand is so frustrating. Mitch wants to let the states go bankrupt. We believe they need more support.”

Pappas said Tuesday’s election is about “the heart and soul of America.”

“This is a strange year to campaign,” Shaheen said. “I have been all over the state in the last four days, talking to people who are frightened. I talked with people in travel and tourism who got PPP loans and it helped through the summer. But now, their season is over, and they are not sure how they will make it through the winter. I talked with man in Claremont who started a restaurant six years ago. He and his mother have not taken a salary since March. He got a PPP loan but said he doesn’t know how they will make it through the winter.”

The problem, Shaheen said, is Trump’s America.

“We need to be able to work across the aisle,” she said. “With Trump and Mitch, we are not going to get that help. We need to bring back the values that we all believe in in America.”