It’s a good time to be a voter here in New Hampshire.
Come January, Senator Judd Gregg will be off the public payroll for the first time since 1978. That means that the US Senate seat he’s held since 1993. And we’ve got a few good candidates looking to take his place.
On the Republican side, it’s pretty much a two-person race, between former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and businessman Bill Binnie.
Ayotte has a hell of a record. She was appointed AG by a Republican, but kept on by a Democrat. She was New Hampshire’s first AG to take maternity leave — and then came back to take on New Hampshire’s first two capital murder cases in decades. She won the one of the Massachusetts gang-banger who killed a cop, but had to settle for life without parole for the millionaire who beat to death the handyman who stole from him. So she’s got the toughness and integrity going for her.
On the other hand, Bill Binnie is a very successful businessman who’s managed to largely avoid getting too involved in politics. So he’s got the economic savvy we could use in Washington.
Sadly, these two have come to the conclusion that the best way to win is to beat the crap out of each other, and the negative ads each is airing against the other is rather discouraging. Neither has clean hands, but it seems to me that Binnie “went there” first, and was a bit nastier.
On the Democratic side, Representative Paul Hodes is running for his party’s nomination. Hodes was swept into office in 2007, when Democrats took both Houses, and now is looking up. Hodes… well, he seems considerably less of a moonbat than New Hampshire’s other Democratic Representative, first elected the same year. (An odd coincidence I just noted: both Hodes and Shea-Porter were born in New York City, two years apart.) That’s about all I can say about the guy. He’s a liberal, but he doesn’t seem crazy liberal.
I was never a huge fan of Gregg’s, but I think overall I’m going to miss him. He was on the right side of the issues more often than not, and brought a certain cold-blooded reason and dispassionate, analytical intellect that is the hallmark of a former tax lawyer to the table.
And while I have my preferences (which I will express in the upcoming primary), I think my little state will be all right this time around.