Saturday, October 25, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;58.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/novc.png;2014-10-25 20:18:41
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Source: Sanborn holding out on agreeing to pick Morse as Bragdon Senate president replacement

CONCORD – The state Senate will meet the day after Labor Day to pick a replacement for President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, who’s stepping down after being hired as the CEO of the quasi-public Local Government Center.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Salem, is the only announced candidate to replace Bragdon, 50, and the clear favorite to take the gavel since Republicans have a 13-11 advantage over Democrats. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

CONCORD – The state Senate will meet the day after Labor Day to pick a replacement for President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, who’s stepping down after being hired as the CEO of the quasi-public Local Government Center.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Salem, is the only announced candidate to replace Bragdon, 50, and the clear favorite to take the gavel since Republicans have a 13-11 advantage over Democrats.

It only takes a simple majority in the 24-person Senate to choose its new leader.

But The Telegraph has confirmed there’s a lone Republican state senator who’s holding out, and this could complicate things.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, endorsed Morse moments after Bragdon confirmed last Friday that he would step down from the leadership job.

Initially, Bragdon said he would do both jobs but changed his mind three days later, upon realizing that the “perception” of a conflict of interest between the two roles could harm the Senate as an institution.

The Milford Republican said he will remain in his District 11 seat and intends to run for re-election in 2014.

Ex-Gov. and past White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu also urged GOP senators to get behind Morse.

Over the past several days, Morse, 52, has reached out to all GOP senators for their support and also has spoken to some Senate Democrats about his candidacy.

According to several sources, Morse, a the four-term senator and landscape nursery business owner, has secured verbal support from 11 of the other 12 Republican senators.

The one who hasn’t signed on, according to informed sources, is first-term Sen. Andy Sanborn, of Bedford.

After the 2012 elections, Sanborn tried to mount a challenge for the presidency against incumbent Bragdon but pulled out due to lack of support.

Bragdon did reward Sanborn with chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Committee that controls all business-related legislation and a coveted seat on the Legislative Fiscal Committee that meets monthly to oversee the state budget.

A restaurant and real estate owner, Sanborn, 51, has said he’s actively exploring a GOP run for governor to try to unseat Democrat Maggie Hassan in 2014.

Sanborn could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Given Sanborn’s political ambitions and past battles with Democratic senators on issues, an alliance between Sanborn and the Senate Democratic group would be an unusual one but not without precedent.

In September 2005, Sen. Ted Gatsas, R-Manchester – with the help of Senate Democrats – staged a successful palace revolt that forced embattled Senate President Tom Eaton, R-Keene, to step down from the post and saw Gatsas take over.

During a telephone interview Tuesday, Bragdon said a meeting of the full Senate after the holiday weekend made sense since many state senators had business or vacation plans toward the end of August.

“I was juggling their schedules and trying to find the date that made the most sense for everyone,” Bragdon said.

Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen, of Concord, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The Senate presidency pays only $25 more than the annual $100 salary for all New Hampshire legislators but has the power to assign committees, schedule all votes and is second in line of succession in the state behind the governor.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).