Editor’s Note: Tucker announced on May 2 she would be suspending her campaign.
Republican State Rep. Pam Tucker of Greenland announced in February she was entering the competitive primary in the First Congressional District. Her primary battle is currently set against Congressman Frank Guinta and businessman Rich Ashooh. Democrats also have a primary battle between former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and businessman Shawn O’Connor.
The race is considered one of the most competitive nationwide by the Cook Political Report. NH Journal spoke with Tucker about what she hopes to accomplish in Washington if elected.
“I want to make a difference for my kids and our grandkids. Sixty-seven percent of Americans see the country going in the wrong direction. They see a stagnant economy, an education system that’s not working; and they see politicians that seemingly just don’t care,” explained Tucker. “I have the experience both in the workforce, as well as being a mom, and being a representative for my town to try and change that, and make a difference, and hopefully get the country back on the right track.”
Tucker wants to focus her campaign on two key issues she believes are essential to making a better future for her children and grandchildren. She first makes the case for why the federal government must act to secure the southern border. She says this is not just an immigration issue, but it’s also about stopping drugs and crime, which have found their way to New Hampshire, creating a opioid and heroin epidemic.
Tucker also points to the over $19 trillion national debt. “How are my kids and grandkids going to pay that off? It’s just insurmountable at this point.” She argues Washington needs to stop overspending and act more like private businesses and families that don’t have the option to overspend.
The challenge for Tucker making progress on either of these issues is that both border security and debt are infamous for being sources of Washington gridlock. NH Journal asked Tucker how she could make any progress.
“Having served in the legislature, I know you have to work with people to get things done,” says Tucker, who points to working with Democrats in Concord to pass legislation during her four terms in the state House. “Sometimes you’re going to pass a bill that is not 100 percent the way you would have liked it, but you’re smart enough to know that if that’s the best you’re going to get and it’s not compromising your principles, you got to go with it.”
Tucker explains she understands what it’s like for families facing an education system not working correctly and having high taxes eat into paychecks. Among her solutions are to make the country more competitive internationally so that business is coming in and creating jobs rather than moving overseas.
Tucker added, “That’s what makes America great.” She then caught herself, and realized that sounded a little like a now-famous line from the recent winner of the New Hampshire presidential primary.
Asked whether she plans to support whoever ultimately wins the Republican nomination for president, Tucker could see ahead to the prospect of another loss for her party in the race for the White House. She said, “We all need to stand together,” as she also took note of Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
NH Journal has previously interviewed Ashooh as part of this series. Interview requests to Guinta, Shea-Porter, and O’Connor have gone unreturned.