Two more candidates entered the race for New Hampshire governor this week.
State Senator Jeanie Forrester announced she will be running for the Republican nomination, and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand is joining the Democratic race.
Forrester is the fourth Republican to enter the race. Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas also announced in March. Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, who is the son of former Gov. John H. Sununu, along with state Rep. Frank Edelblut, are also running for the GOP nomination.
Marchand joins Mark Connolly, a former New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State, along with Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, in running for the Democratic nomination.
Both new entrants focused their announcements in part on New Hampshire’s drug crisis.
“My firsthand experience on the issue of drug and alcohol abuse is fundamentally different from the politicians in this race,” Forrester explained. “That’s because for five years I worked at Odyssey House; a residential treatment home for teens struggling with addiction. I realized then the seriousness of addiction. And I knew then that our state needed to do more. Years later when I was able to affect change I led the charge in the Senate to stop the outrageous raid on the drug and alcohol fund.”
Marchand held a press availability in front of Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Center in Manchester prior to touring the facility. He stated in his announcement: “The explosion in deaths, in overdoses, in pain to thousands of homes across the state is remarkable.”
It will not be an easy race ahead for either new candidate.
Based on a story from NH Journal, New Hampshire Republicans have accused national Democrats of trying to rig their primary to favor Van Ostern. Requests for comment to Van Ostern and Connolly were not returned.
Marchand currently has a very limited social media following compared to his rivals, but Forrester’s website does not link to any social media accounts. Social buttons for Facebook and Twitter on Forrester’s site take browsers to pages that do not exist.
One unaffiliated Republican strategist noted: “Of the three announced candidates, Jeanie Forrester has the most to prove to Republican primary voters and sloppy mistakes like this will not help her woo the donors and activists she needs to be successful.”