MANCHESTER, N.H. – During Wednesday night’s NECN gubernatorial debate, New Hampshire voters were presented with a choice: whether to keep New Hampshire moving forward with Colin Van Ostern or go backwards with Chris Sununu. There were clear differences between the candidates as they debated how to best combat the opioid crisis, protect access to healthcare for New Hampshire women and families, and whether or not there should be a state minimum wage.
VAN OSTERN RE-ISSUES CHALLENGE TO ENDORSE NON-PARTISAN NEW FUTURES HEROIN AND OPIOID PLAN, SUNUNU DECLINES
Van Ostern: It’s incredibly important, of course we need to do more. Actually today, one of the gentlemen who wrote Operation Granite Hammer, Nick Willard is on the front lines of this crisis in Manchester, has endorsed me in this campaign, on a personal level – I am not speaking on behalf of the Manchester police force. The reason he did, and we’ve talked a lot about this, is because tools like Medicaid expansion are critical. We need to have treatment for folks who have addiction. I took a ride along with the Manchester Police Saturday night. I walked into an apartment, and I saw a woman lying dead on the floor, of an overdose. And I watched her brought back with Narcan. The cop I was with, knew her by name. We need to shrink the addiction pool. It requires better prevention and recovery services. We need to attack the problem, not the people with the problem. There’s a great non-profit called New Futures, which has a 5 point plan on how to do this. The first two points are fully funding the alcohol fund, and making the successful expansion of the New Hampshire health protection plan healthcare coverage permanent. I endorsed that plan, Chris does not. This is a big difference between us on the issue, and we need to keep our state moving forward in the right direction.
Sununu: I’ve never not endorsed the New Futures plan. I think New Futures is an incredible organization.
Van Ostern: To be clear a part of their plan is to make Medicaid expansion permanent. Do you support that?
Sununu: Well no, absolutely not.
Van Ostern: Well then you don’t support their plan.
Sununu: Absolutely not.
Van Ostern: Okay, I just wanted to be clear.
VAN OSTERN TAKES SUNUNU TO TASK FOR VOTING TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Van Ostern: Accountability does not mean blaming someone else when you vote to shut off women’s health. In this state, every investigation that other states did was debunked by January. I wrote a letter with Councilor Chris Pappas, saying everything you have asked for has been shown. The next day, front page of the Portsmouth Herald, it said ‘Sununu stands by defunding Planned Parenthood’ and for the next six months, fewer women got birth control, and cancer screenings.
Sununu: There have been investigations in other states. We knew the contract was going to come back. Again, I have been consistent on this. I have stood up. I mean, read the headlines over the past year. I made the tough votes, and I put politics aside. If anybody has put politics aside on this issue, it’s myself, standing up against those political winds.
VAN OSTERN SAYS SUNUNU’S OPPOSITION TO A STATE MINIMUM WAGE MEANS SUNUNU IS SURRENDERING OUR CONTROL TO WASHINGTON
Van Ostern: The reality is that a higher minimum wage in New Hampshire is good for the state — Chris believes that we should have no minimum wage at all. That we should surrender our control to Washington, and let Washington decide what our minimum wage should be. Well, let’s be honest, Congress is broken, Washington is broken. It is not working for the people of our country anymore. We as a state can decide to have a higher minimum wage. It will help families, it will help businesses, it will help consumers, and it will help our economy grown.