2 min read

Sununu's hometown bans picketing near homes; and 7 more updates

Here are 8 key updates about all things #nhpolitics:

  1. Newfields, the governor's hometown, enacted a new ordinance last week to ban "picketing before or about the residence or dwelling of any individual." The change came after weeks of protests outside Sununu's house. Sununu’s brother, who sits on the Newfields Select Board, raised concerns about the ordinance's swift passage. An attorney from the NH Attorney General's Office says the ordinance will pass legal muster. Story by Christopher Maidment for New Hampshire Journal.
  2. The next threat to New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary could come from Nevada. "I think we’re entitled to be the first state," former Sen. Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, told the Los Angeles Times. New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley vowed to work with the GOP and NH Secretary of State to defend NH's #fitn status. Story by Paul Steinhauser for the Concord Monitor.
  3. State lawmakers are hammering out plans to convene Jan. 6 for a drive-in session at UNH. The NH Supreme Court said lawmakers can lawfully establish a quorum to vote remotely, but interim House Speaker Sherman Packard said the in-person meeting is necessary under current rules. House Chief of Staff Aaron Goulette said the House can’t meet remotely until it passes rules to do so. Story by Ethan DeWitt for the Concord Monitor.
  4. After criticizing NH's all-Democratic congressional delegation, Sununu said he hasn't ruled out the possibility of challenging Hassan for her Senate seat in 2022. But the big question looming over that race is still whether former Sen. Kelly Ayotte wants a rematch. Story by Kevin Landrigan for the New Hampshire Union Leader.
  5. Salem Town Manager Chris Dillon weathered an attempt to fire him. Two members of the town's Board of Selectmen voted in a nonpublic session in October to have Dillon "fired for cause" over his handling of a police audit and subsequent criminal investigations by the NH Attorney General's Office, according to newly released meeting minutes. The other three members opposed the firing. One questioned the legality of both the meeting and the motion. Story by Ryan Lessard for the New Hampshire Union Leader.
  6. The Democratically controlled NH Executive Council held its final meeting. A new Republican-controlled council will be sworn in Jan. 6 after two incumbent Democrats lost their bids for reelection and two Democrats didn't seek another term. The only returning councilor will be Manchester’s Ted Gatsas, a Republican. Story by Paula Tracy for InDepthNH.org.
  7. Advocates say NH's largest jail is keeping quiet about how it is managing COVID-19 testing and safety protocols. "The fact that the facility is being so not transparent and frankly obstructionist is concerning," said Attorney Robin Melone, president of the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "It puts the inmates at risk. It puts the staff at risk, and it makes it difficult for attorneys to measure their own risk when they choose to do their job by going in to see their clients." Story by Sarah Gibson for NHPR.
  8. New Hampshire leads the Northeast in population growth. Most of the growth in recent years has been in Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford counties, according to UNH demographer Kenneth Johnson, who authored a brief based on U.S. Census estimates, finding that the state has grown between 0.3% and 0.5% annually since 2016. Story by Sarah Gibson for NHPR.