Wmur interview_ former portsmouth mayor marchand running for governor _ politics – wmur home

Moments after former Portsmouth City Councilor Stefany Shaheen disclosed that she will not be a candidate for governor, another former Portsmouth city official and well-known New Hampshire Democrat told WMUR. com that he may run for the state’s highest office. More Marchand told WMUR. com in an interview Wednesday that he will file a campaign committee at the Secretary of State’s Office on Thursday and that he is in the early stages of organizing


a statewide campaign for the seat being vacated by U. S. Senate candidate Maggie Hassan. He’ll hold a news conference at 11 a. m. in front of Amber’s Place in Manchester and then tour the drug abuse recovery center with Kriss Blevens, the stepmother of 22-year-old Amber, who died in 2014 of a heroin overdose. Marchand stressed that the heroin and opioid epidemic stands as the most pressing problem facing the state.

“I want to continue to learn, and I’ll be spending much time over the next several months working to understand this crisis and help build a plan as to what we can do in New Hampshire to deal with the epidemic we have,” Marchand said. WMUR was first to report two weeks ago that Marchand said he would seriously consider running for governor after former Portsmouth City Councilor Stefany Shaheen decided against running for the post. He said he made the decision after confiding in his family, friends and supporters. He joins fellow Democrats Colin Van Ostern, an executive councilor from Concord, and Mark Connolly of New Castle, a former director of state securities regulation bureau, in a Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Four Republicans are now running for governor: Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, state Sen. Jeanie Forrester, state Rep. Frank Edelblut and Executive Councilor Chris Sununu. “I’ve been tested in public policy for a long time,” the 42-year-old husband and father of two daughters told WMUR. “It has been a big part of my career in different forms. What we need now in our next governor is somebody who understands that the key to New Hampshire’s success is our quality of life.” “And the number one issue that threatens our quality of life is the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic.” Marchand said his concern about drug abuse “pre-dates any thought I had about running for office in 2016.” He said that as chairman of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, “We asked for feedback from business leaders regarding their top concerns,” and, he said, they named transportation and building a trained, quality workforce.

“But they also named heroin and the personal tragedies it was causing,” Marchand said. “Also, its impact on our economy, our brand as a state and our business community is bigger than I had realized.” He said he has spoken with state elected leaders, law enforcement officials, medical experts, social service providers and recovered addicts about the issue. “And through that, it became clear that this a personal issue for so many people, but it is also vital in terms of the future of New Hampshire’s quality of life and even our economy.

” “When you run for office, it is a humbling experience,” Marchand said. “And you quickly realize that nobody is an expert on a wide range of topics. Your job is to constantly be learning, listening, analyzing and then deciding and leading. And over the last several months, I’ve been listening to people on the front lines of this crisis, and learning.

” Marchand has been involved in Democratic politics and nonpartisan policy groups for more than a decade. He was elected to the Portsmouth City Council in 2003, and when he was re-elected in 2005, he became the city’s mayor by virtue of receiving the highest number of votes. Marchand chose not to seek another term and briefly ran for the U. S. Senate in 2007, stepping aside to support Jeanne Shaheen’s candidacy. In 2012, Marchand became director of corporate relations for the University of New Hampshire.

About 18 months ago, he returned to private consulting. He is the principal at SRM Consulting in his home city. Marchand’s political and policy-related roles have also included serving as regional director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that has long advocated fiscal responsibility, in 2000. He became the New Hampshire state director of the bipartisan No Labels organization in 2014. Marchand said that he opposes an income or sales tax for New Hampshire. “But I think that for more than 40 years, we used the pledge as a proxy for not being able to have a conversation about what fiscal responsibility really is and about the ability to fund the highest level priorities of our residents,” Marchand said. “We don’t ask people to take a pledge about funding Planned Parenthood or protecting marriage equality.

But I will take my record of fiscal responsibility and being mindful of the importance of delivering value for the dollar over any candidate running for governor in either party.” “I hope that as a state we can move on from kind of shtick of (the anti-broad based tax pledge) and focus on the public policy,” Marchand said. “If we identify a handful of the greatest priorities of our state’s future, we have to be able to talk about the most efficient ways to reach those goals and the amount of money it will take to reach those highest priorities.” “The reason I oppose an income or sales tax is not because of a 40-year-old pledge, but because I’ve evaluated public policy and feel we can fund our highest priorities without them.

” Marchand said he will also focus on K-12 public education and finding effective ways for local communities to fund infrastructure investments, including school building aid and wastewater treatment plants. He also said he supports Medicaid expansion, “and I appreciate the bipartisan efforts that have been made to find ways to get to ‘yes’ on that. When people on both sides of the aisle are working in good faith to get to ‘yes’ on important issues, we need to be able to give credit where it is due.”

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