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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Party chairs: NH to play key role in election

By DAMIEN FISHER
Staff Writer

NASHUA - New Hampshire's role in the upcoming election could be a deciding factor in the race for the White House, said Ray Buckley, chairman of New Hampshire's Democratic Party.

Buckley and his Republican counterpart, Jennifer Horn, spoke to members of the Nashua Rotary Club on Monday during a luncheon at Nashua Country Club. The two party chairs gave their insights on the state of politics in the Granite State and the important part New Hampshire is playing in the upcoming election. ...

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NASHUA - New Hampshire's role in the upcoming election could be a deciding factor in the race for the White House, said Ray Buckley, chairman of New Hampshire's Democratic Party.

Buckley and his Republican counterpart, Jennifer Horn, spoke to members of the Nashua Rotary Club on Monday during a luncheon at Nashua Country Club. The two party chairs gave their insights on the state of politics in the Granite State and the important part New Hampshire is playing in the upcoming election.

Buckley sees the presidential race, and the races for United States Senate and House, as being tight.

"I expect this to be extraordinarily close," Buckley said.

Buckley reminded the audience that New Hampshire could be a key state as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump seek the needed 270 electoral votes in November. In the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore would have been president without needing to carry Florida if he had won in New Hampshire, which ended with a close victory for George W. Bush.

Bush won the presidency after winning Florida by 537 votes after a recount.

"The turnout will be key," Buckley said.

Horn wants to see a better tone in the political world, saying too many disagreements have become personal and nasty. She said the current state of affairs in this regard is discouraging.

"It doesn't have to be so nasty all the time," she said.

Horn said many voters feel let down by the people they elect to Congress, and their anger can contribute to the negative tone that surrounds the current political conversation.

When asked about supporting Trump, the controversial reality show star and real estate developer who is the GOP's candidate for president, Horn said it isn't her job to make all Republicans agree with her.

"It's my job to get Republicans elected," she said.

Buckley sees his role as being more than getting Democrats elected.

He said it's also to protect the Democratic Party when it comes to less than desirable candidates running. He has called on candidates he saw as unfit to step down, he said.

"My job as chair is to protect the brand," he said.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-6531 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com.