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NH-02 GOP Primary Debate Gets Ugly As Candidates Resort to Name-Calling

After months of lackluster campaigning and mixed messaging, the gloves came off during the first debate for the Republicans running in New Hampshire’s Second District. One thing was made clear: none of the Republicans on stage are prepared to lead.


During their first debate, things went from bad to worse for the three Republican NH-02 candidates. Every single candidate on stage came out against an overwhelmingly popular and bipartisan American manufacturing legislation that would bolster national security and create good-paying jobs. They spoke in opposition to the issues that matter most to Granite Staters like abortion access, clean energy measures, and gun violence prevention.


Bob Burns continued his full-throated support of the MAGA agenda. He parroted extremist talking points from the far-Right and reaffirmed his support for the twice-impeached president who incited an insurrection and directed an armed mob to attack our country’s Capitol.

  • Far-Right Burns said he would not support legislation to prevent gun violence and would go as far as to pass a law to create “a constitutional carry — or enforce the constitution that I can carry a handgun across state lines.”

Lily Tang Williams reminded voters that she is a political extremist fighting for her message — not New Hampshire. She echoes the same pitch as her 2016 campaign for Senate in Colorado, completely failing to address what she will do for New Hampshire.

  • Former Libertarian Williams didn’t hold back when talking about tearing down our country’s education system and the well-being of Granite State students, saying, “I would like to abolish the Department of Education at the federal level.”

George Hansel is out of his depth — big time. His entire performance on stage was weak, poorly practiced, and sleepy. He failed to fully answer questions on key issues that are important to Granite State voters like abortion access, school choice, and gun violence. Weak on policy issues and with no plans for how he would vote or govern if he were elected, Hansel made it difficult to understand why he is running at all.

  • Hansel was weak on economic policies and Granite State priorities, having little to say of substance about why he would vote against innovative legislation to manufacture essential technology at home. “Yeah, I'd vote against both.”

In response, NHDP Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement:


“Tonight’s debate shows just how messy and unfit for office the Republican candidates in CD-02 are. This is one of the most pathetic, lackluster groups of opponents I’ve ever seen, and there isn’t a single one of them who is even remotely qualified to represent New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District in Washington.


Granite Staters are lucky to have Congresswoman Annie Kuster represent them, and I look forward to her re-election this November.”