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Sanborn a conservative voice
Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a series of articles interviewing the field of candidates running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional ... downtown Concord as well as a bunch of commercial real estate and real estate development businesses ...
By Paul Steinhauser
Editor?s note: This is the eighth in a series of articles interviewing the field of candidates running in New Hampshire?s 1st Congressional District.Andy Sanborn points out that he?s a fourth generation Granite Stater.?I?ve lived in this state my entire life," the Republican state senator from Bedford and candidate for the GOP nomination in New Hampshire?s First Congressional District said in an interview with Seacoastonline.Sanborn, who along with his wife owns the popular Draft Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Concord as well as a bunch of commercial real estate and real estate development businesses, highlights that he comes ?from a line of small business ownersMy grandfather bought a small home heating oil company, worked that and owned it for 45 yearsMy father followed him.?Before starting up his own businesses, Sanborn worked in commercial and investment banking for Indian Head Bank.The four-term state lawmaker represents the Senate?s 9th District, which stretches from Bedford west to New Boston, Peterborough, and on to Jaffrey and RichmondMost of the state senate district is not the First Congressional District.Sanborn?s considered one of the most conservative members of the state SenateAnd his wife Laurie is a state representative and one of the leaders of the House Republican Alliance, the longest-running and largest conservative caucus in the 400-member state House of RepresentativesLaurie Sanborn also narrowly lost out in elections last year and this year for House speaker.Sanborn said he and his wife didn?t run for office to become ?politically active to be like all the other politiciansWe became politically active to protect you from all the other politicians.??We just felt there was a real void of people in the Legislature that had a real basic understanding of how the business community works and what it?s like to have to sign the front of a check versus the back of the check,? he added.Sanborn, who was a top supporter of U.SSenRand Paul of Kentucky?s libertarian style 2016 presidential bid, is a firm believer in limited government.?Government has become too big, too broad, too boldIt?s invading every single aspect of our lifeAnd at this point I think it?s really an impediment to people?s freedom and liberty, versus helping it in many cases,? he explained.He described himself as ?just a hard-working blue collar guy with scabs on my knees and dirt under my fingernailsI?m a business owner first and foremostI love this stateI love the people of this stateAnd there needs to be some balance between all of these politicians that think government is the answer to every question they?ve ever had and guys like me who ..believe in personal freedom and personal liberty.?Sanborn said his frustration ?at the inability of Washington D.Cto get anything done? was a big motivation in his decision last spring to launch a campaign for Congress.Taking a shot at both major parties, Sanborn said, ?I just think they?re so incredibility out of touch with the challenges us everyday people faceSo I made the decision that look, I?m going to go down there and I?m going to take away all of their fancy perks, that they should have the same health care that we have, they should stop flying first class travel, gotta get rid of all the fancy pensions.?And criticizing New Hampshire?s all-Democratic congressional delegation, Sanborn said, ?Some people would suggest their views and efforts and actions these days tend to put them on a pretty extreme left sideSo I?m here to provide that balance.?Sanborn?s one of a whopping 11 candidates running to succeed retiring four-term Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-PorterThe other Republicans are Eddie Edwards of Dover, a Navy veteran and former South Hampton police chief who also served as top law enforcement officer for the state?s liquor commission, and Mark Hounsell of Conway, a Carroll County commissioner and former state senator.There are eight Democrats in the runningThey are Executive Councilor Chris Pappas of Manchester; state RepMark Mackenzie of Manchester, a former fireman who served more than two decades as head of the state chapter of the AFL-CIO; Maura Sullivan of Portsmouth, a U.SMarine veteran who served in the Iraq War and worked at the Pentagon in the Obama administration; Rochester City Attorney and Iraq War veteran Terence O?Rourke; retired Portsmouth trial lawyer Lincoln Soldati, a former Somersworth mayor who also spent 17 years as Strafford County attorney; environmental scientist and state RepMindi Messmer of Rye; and technology executive and community activist Deaglan McEachern of PortsmouthLevi Sanders, the son of U.SSenBernie Sanders of Vermont, just launched a campaign days ago.The First District is one of the most high profile congressional swing districts in the countryAnd it?s ping-ponged back and forth between Democrat and GOP control the past four electionsIt?s also one of only a dozen congressional districts won by President Donald Trump in 2016 that the Democrats control.Two of the top non-partisan political handicappers, the Cook Report and Inside Elections, in recent weeks changed their ratings of the race from toss-up to lean DemocratBoth pointed to lackluster fundraising figures by Sanborn and Edwards during last year?s fourth quarter.After solid fundraising in last year?s second and third quarters, Sanborn brought in a paltry $15,949 in the October through December period.?Some quarters are great and others are not quite so good, and we obviously were focusing on some other things last quarter but this quarter will be good,? Sanborn answered when questioned about his numbers.And he pointed toward another important campaign metric ? cash on handSanborn reported having $173,212 in the bank at the end of last year, but he also had $82.845 in campaign debt.?We have almost 300 people that have endorsed at this point, three times any other candidateWe?ve got more money in the bank than our other primary opponents have ..We?re doing events almost every single night,? he highlighted.And Sanborn touted that ?I?m a proven candidateI?ve been on the ballot a few timesI?ve proven my ability to reach out to the voters and meet themRespectfully, I think I?m pretty good at it because I keep winning elections when I run.?Sanborn was interviewed Thursday at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle, minutes before he served as a panelist on a discussion of the long-term difficulties facing power production in New England.Energy?s an important topic for Sanborn as are taxes.?I?ve spent a lot of time cutting taxes in this state because I believe that it?s your moneyAnd I?ve been very successful at cutting taxes and returning a little bit more of your money back to you,? he highlighted.And he was a big supporter of the tax cuts passed by Republicans in Congress and signed into law late last year by the president.?People are actually getting more money back in their pocket,? he said.Asked about school safety and the renewed push to tighten gun laws in the wake of a horrific school shooting last month in south Florida that left 17 people dead, Sanborn said, ?We?re leaving our kids entirely exposed.??We need to harden up our schools,? he added, as he pointed to efforts by Republican GovChris Sununu and state lawmakers to do just that in New Hampshire.But he deferred when asked specifics about Trump?s proposal to arm some teachers with concealed weapons, or the President?s comments a few days ago in support of expanding background checks for gun sales and raising the age to buy guns to 21."It?s a debate I think we need to have,? Sanborn said repeatedly.And he lamented that current gun laws are not appropriately enforced, adding ?maybe we need to follow the laws we have."
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