Volinsky running for governor, 2nd Democrat in race
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky announced his campaign for governor Wednesday, becoming the second Democrat to enter the race to challenge Republican Gov. Chris Sununu next year.
In his announcement, Volinsky said New Hampshire is a beautiful place to live and work, but “just beneath the surface is a quiet crisis” for struggling working-class and middle-class families, students, seniors and businesses.
Volinsky, 63, of Concord, was the lead attorney in the 1990s for property-poor plaintiff school districts in the landmark Claremont school funding lawsuit against the state. His video campaign ad opened with a sentence quoted from the case, “Education provides the key to individual opportunities,” and featured a little girl who wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
“Believe it or not, when I was a kid I wanted to be a football player. I didn’t care that I was always the smallest kid on the field,” Volinsky said. “I understand what it’s like to be the underdog. That’s why I fought for fair school funding in the ’90s, it’s why I’ve stayed involved and it’s why I ran for the Executive Council.”
Volinsky, a two-term council member, has clashed with Sununu on some issues, including the governor’s nomination of Attorney General Gordon MacDonald as chief justice of the state supreme court. At his public hearing, MacDonald insisted he would uphold the law impartially and protect the independence of the judiciary, but Volinsky said that wasn’t enough. He said he wanted MacDonald to distance himself from the “shockingly extreme views” of politicians he had supported.
The Democratic-controlled council voted 3-2 against MacDonald.
In 2018, Volinsky alleged that the state Liquor Commission’s handling of large, all-cash transactions at state retail outlets was improper. But the attorney general’s office found the commission was following agency procedures.
Volinsky will face at least one other Democrat in a primary. State Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes announced his candidacy in September.