Sentinel Opinion: Tom Sherman; It's time New Hampshire had a new direction and a fresh approach
In case you missed it, the Keene Sentinel editorial board wrote a resounding endorsement of Dr. Tom Sherman, the Democratic candidate for governor, after previously endorsing Chris Sununu in 2020.
Read the full endorsement here.
In what might be the most consequential race for Granite Staters this election year, we think it’s time for a change at the top and endorse state Sen. Tom Sherman for governor.
It’s been a long six years since Chris Sununu was first elected governor of New Hampshire. As he runs for his fourth term in the corner office, we’re mindful that elections are often a referendum on the incumbent. There’s a record to run on. Voters can more easily assess incumbents and decide if they’ve done a good job; if they’ve been truthful and forthright; if the direction in which they’ve taken the city/town/state/country is a good one.
In the past two years, we’ve seen Sununu cave to the more extreme members of his party on key issues, and what positive steps he’s taken for the state — providing a program to spur affordable housing, for example, have been paid for with the federal pandemic funds he’s spent much time criticizing.
Under Sununu, the state government is headed in the wrong direction. Instead of taking steps to help battle the effects of climate change, it lags behind every Northeast state in adding renewables to its energy portfolio and has blundered badly on energy-efficiency efforts, leaving residents to suffer from higher electricity rate increases than our neighbors. Instead of making our streets and schools safer from gun violence, it’s loosened restrictions and fought school districts’ efforts to protect students and staff. Instead of working to better education, it’s tirelessly attacked public education funding and demoralized teachers. And instead of cementing a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices, it’s put those choices in the hands of lawmakers and lawyers.
He’s repeatedly signed bills furthering school vouchers and diverting millions in public education funds to private schools. In 2021, he refused to wield his mighty veto pen against the so-called “divisive concepts” law that has effectively gagged public school teachers on topics conservatives don’t want broached, such as slavery, Reconstruction, Civil Rights, and gender equality. Many New Hampshire teachers have left the profession — or the state — over it.
He wouldn’t put ink to paper to stop the state’s new abortion ban that has no exception for rape or incest, instead bragging on a conservative podcast, “I’ve done more on the pro-life issue than anyone.”
During his time in Concord, Sherman has — as one might expect from a doctor — pushed heavily for legislation relating to health care. But those topics are among some of the most vital facing the Granite State. He fought for the expansion of Medicaid that’s made health care accessible to tens of thousands in the state and cosponsored the bill that added adult dental care to that program. He authored a bill to decrease the boarding of mental health patients in hospital emergency rooms, and to cap the cost of insulin and epinephrine. And he co-sponsored a bill requiring warning labels on opioid prescriptions.
His policy proposals as governor include raising the minimum wage, making child care more affordable, reducing regulatory barriers for New Hampshire farmers, boosting the state’s manufacturers and reducing property taxes instead of business taxes on out-of-state corporations.
But when we spoke with Sherman, we came away impressed with his way of thinking and his quiet competence. Maybe it’s his medical background, but he approaches issues clinically, thinking things through in both the near and long term. He didn’t talk in sound bites or give simple answers.
It was refreshing. And New Hampshire could use a refreshing approach in the governor’s office right about now.