Troopers back Gov. Sununu’s re-election bid

Changes to Laurie List helps with cop support


NASHUA – Gov. Chris Sununu got a major endorsement this week, as the New Hampshire Troopers Association is formally backing his bid for re-election.

“(He) has shown that the security of the citizens of New Hampshire is one of his top priorities by taking on the opioid crisis that has plagued the state by partnering with state troopers and funding new positions and initiatives to address the issue,” association President Marc Beaudoin said.

This is the first time in this century that the troopers backed a Republican for governor. Sununu already has the backing of the New Hampshire Police Association. Aside from his work to fund the fight against opioids, Sununu has garnered support from police on two major issues: the death penalty and the Laurie List, also known as the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, or EES.

“Our state troopers are on the front lines every day, dedicated professionals who truly embody a selfless sense of service,” Sununu said.

Earlier this year, Sununu vetoed the law that would have repealed New Hampshire’s death penalty. Surrounded by police officers from across the state, Sununu said during the June 21 veto ceremony that repealing the law would make the state, and its law enforcement officers, less safe.

“Abolishing the death penalty in New Hampshire would send the wrong message to those who would commit the most heinous offenses within our state’s borders, namely that New Hampshire is a place where a person who commits an unthinkable crime is granted leniency,” Sununu said at the time.

He also backed a plan put forward by Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to make it easier for police officers to get off the Laurie List, or Exculpatory Evidence Schedule. The EES goes back to the 1995 New Hampshire Supreme Court decision in State vs. Laurie. That ruling overturned Carl Laurie’s murder conviction because prosecutors withheld knowledge that a key police witness had been disciplined for dishonesty.

Since 2004, police chiefs have been required to keep lists of officers who have been disciplined for disclosure to defense attorneys. Police chiefs must report officers who have: been found to lack credibility, used excessive force, failed to comply with legal procedures, or have exhibited mental illness or instability.

While Sununu is garnering law enforcement support, Democratic candidate Molly Kelly scored an endorsement this week from the American Federation of Teachers. Kelly is in a primary race with former Portsmouth mayor, Steve Marchand.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or or @Telegraph_DF.