What Makes New Hampshire Different

[audio:https://democracywise.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/S12-PORTER-Story1.mp3|titles=S12 PORTER Story1]

CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 5, 2012) — People  taking a break at  Concord’s Barley House tavern, also known as Campaign Central, say their state deserves the honor it’s held for over almost 60 years.

“A candidate wants to come to New Hampshire and get elected, he has to go around and press the flesh.  He has to meet the people, talk to the people, find out what’s going on” (Ed Foley, a Democrat, sheet metal worker in Hooksett, N.H.)

“It’s not a state where you can buy the election. Iit really is the grass roots politics and not the paid media that decide things here in New Hampshire.
 (Will Wrobleski, a New Hampshire resident)

Secretary of State Bill Gardner oversees New Hampshire’s elections. He even sets the date for the presidential primaries. He says New Hampshire’s small size makes it easy for lesser known or lesser equipped candidates, campaign.

“You don’t have to have the most fame or fortune to win this primary.”
 (Secretary of State Bill Gardner)

Gardner believes the voters, not the state, should be in charge of choosing their representatives.

“We let the voters do all the screening, nobody else.”
 (Secretary of State Bill Gardner)

It helps that New Hampshire law allows almost anyone to be on the ballot.  John Cook ran for mayor of Concord last month. He lost  but said it was easy to get on the ballot.

“A good thing about New Hampshire, is you can take a 5-dollar bill, be the town drunk and go down and run for office.”
(John Cook, mayoral candidate in Concord)

How important is New Hampshire?  Well, 13 out of the last 15 nominees who won New Hampshire landed in the White House.

Matt Porter, WATD News.

(Matt Porter, a graduate student in broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University, is covering the New Hampshire primary for WATD Radio.)


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