CONCORD, NH — Today, long-time supporters of President Biden in New Hampshire sent a letter urging him to reconsider and keep New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary and the crucial role it plays in the nominating process. Read the full letter here. For all media requests, please reach out to the NHDP at email@example.com.
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Dear President Biden,
We are so glad to hear the good news about Dr. Biden’s recent surgery. We send her our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
As your longtime New Hampshire friends and supporters, we want to express how proud we are of your historic achievements at home and abroad. From the American Rescue Plan to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the CHIPS and Science Act to rallying the world to defend Ukraine, each momentous success reminds us of how proud we are to have supported you before the New Hampshire primary - many of us three times. America is better today because of your steadfast leadership. You are exactly the right president at the right time and we are all honored to have played a small part in your success.
You have been coming to New Hampshire since 1980. We appreciate all of the time you have spent here, and the deep friendships you have made. We have long considered you and Jill part of our New Hampshire family.
That’s why we are writing today about the proposed changes to the presidential primary schedule. While we share your desire to elevate more diverse voices in the process, we believe that the proposed schedule could wreak havoc on Democrats up and down the ticket in New Hampshire and unnecessarily jeopardize four critical electoral votes in your re-election campaign.
The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee’s requirements for New Hampshire to participate in the early pre-primary window have put New Hampshire Democrats in a no-win position. First, the DNC has stipulated that New Hampshire’s Republican Governor, Republican Senate Majority Leader, and Republican House Majority Leader must repeal New Hampshire’s state law requiring it to hold the presidential primary at least seven days prior to the other earliest contest. All three of these Republican leaders have told the DNC that this is a non-starter, calling it “outrageous” and likening it to “blackmail.”
Second, the DNC has asked that New Hampshire change its voting law to allow for no-fault absentee voting. On this issue, New Hampshire Democrats have long stood up for expanded voter access here and across the country. Our Democratic state legislative leaders and federal delegation have unanimously endorsed no-fault absentee voting and will once again propose legislation in this session to allow it. Since 2004, New Hampshire has consistently ranked in the top five states for voter turnout in presidential election years. Granite Staters are not only deeply involved with getting to know the candidates, but they turn out at among the highest pace in the nation. In the 2020 general election, 74.2% of New Hampshire voters turned out.
But once again, this is an issue where New Hampshire Democrats cannot unilaterally change the law. New Hampshire Republicans have been reliably hostile to any changes to our voting laws- with every Republican state Senator voting against no-fault absentee voting in 2021 and Governor Chris Sununu vetoing a no-fault absentee bill Democrats passed in 2019.
And that is why we have grave concerns about the DNC’s requirements. New Hampshire Republicans have begun to use this move to attack New Hampshire Democrats- an attack that they are already capitalizing on in the 2024 election cycle, when everything from the state legislature and governorship to the two battleground Congressional seats and presidency will be at stake.
We are especially concerned about how this will impact your re-election. In 2020, New Hampshire was proud to deliver our four electoral votes to you on election night. These four votes could be the deciding factor in 2024. Unfortunately, they could now be at risk.
If the DNC and your campaign withhold resources from New Hampshire or wait to begin building an organization until after the primary, it will greatly hinder our efforts to help you build a general election campaign in the state and it will allow the Republicans to out-organize us up and down the ballot. We will need every resource at our disposal to help you be successful in 2024 and cannot delay our efforts to build a world-class campaign apparatus.
We also fear – if you decline to file in the New Hampshire primary – that you may lose the first presidential primary of 2024, create an unnecessary distraction for your campaign, and diminish your great record over the past two years. Regardless of what the DNC decides, state law ensures that our primary will continue to go first, thereby giving an opportunity for another candidate to file here and capitalize on the growing anger toward national Democrats. It is safe to say that this is likely not how you would like to kick off your re-election and it would only fuel chatter that Democrats are divided and in disarray.
As your longtime supporters, it is important that we raise these issues directly to you. You are in a strong position to win both the primary and general election in New Hampshire if these changes don’t go through.
We have stood by you through thick and thin, and it is our hope to be a part of your historic re-election in 2024. That is why we hope that you and the DNC will understand the harmful ramifications of this proposed calendar and work with us to find a solution. We believe it’s possible to keep New Hampshire at the beginning of the primary calendar and to elevate the influence of Black and Latino voters in this process. The two things do not have to be mutually exclusive. When you balance what you lose to what you gain, there is no comparison.
Thank you for your consideration.
Gov. John H. Lynch Former Governor of New Hampshire
Hon. John T. Broderick, Jr. Former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court
Amb. Edward “Terry” Shumaker III Former US Ambassador Former DNC At-Large member
Rep. Paul W. Hodes Former US Congressman
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter Former US Congresswoman
Hon. William H. Shaheen DNC Member
Joanne Y. Dowdell DNC Member At-Large
Sen. Donna M. Soucy
Dem Leader and Former President, New Hampshire Senate DNC Member & Biden Elector
Sen. Lou D’Allesandro Dean of the New Hampshire Senate
Sen. Sylvia B. Larsen Former New Hampshire Senate President
Sen. Martha Fuller Clark NHDP 1st Vice Chair, DNC Member Former New Hampshire Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Bette R. Lasky NHDP 2nd Vice Chair Former Member, New Hampshire Senate
Sen. Melanie A. Levesque Co-Chair NHDP African American Caucus Former Member, New Hampshire Senate
Sen. Peggy Gilmour Former Member, New Hampshire Senate
Rep. Stephen J. Shurtleff Former Speaker, New Hampshire House of Representatives Biden Elector
Rep. David E. Cote Former Democratic Leader, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Hon. Chris Spirou Former NHDP Chair Former Democratic Leader, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Hon. James M. Demers Former Democratic Whip, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Joseph F. Keefe Former NHDP Chair Former DNC At-Large member
Edgar “Ned” Helms, Jr. Former NHDP Chair
Hon. Michael B. King Former NHDP Chair Former Deputy Democratic Leader, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Mayor Dana S. Hilliard National Co-Chair Educators for Biden Biden Elector