Keene-Ward 1, Cheshire County, NH
WARD 1 - Michael E.J. Blastos Community Room
400 Marlboro St
Keene, NH 03431
U.S. President (2021 - present); U.S. Vice President (2008 - 2016); Senator, U.S. Senate (1972 - 2008)
In 2021 Joe Biden was the oldest American ever to be sworn in as president, at age 78. From day one of his presidency there was speculation he would step down for a younger Democrat rather than seek reelection. After Democrats outperformed expectations in the midterms, however, Biden supporters gained momentum. In April 2023 Biden announced he will run for reelection as president.
Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (1986 - 2017); founder, Waterkeeper Alliance; founder, Children's Health Defense; anti-vaccine activist; author
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. spent most of his career working as an environmental lawyer. In recent years he has dedicated his energy to anti-vaccine campaigns. When asked about a presidential run during a visit to the NHIOP, Kennedy said, "I have passed the biggest hurdle, that my wife has greenlighted it. If things go great, we will have the funniest first lady in history, and we all need a lot of laughs, right?" (Kennedy is married to actress Cheryl Hines.)
Author; political activist; founder, Los Angeles and Manhattan Centers for Living; founder, Project Angel Food; co-founder, The Peace Alliance
Williamson has been described as a self-help author, spiritual advisor, and activist. She debated Biden and other Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential primary but dropped out before voters cast their ballots. She has criticized Biden and other Democratic Party leaders for policies that favor wealthy donors over working class voters – including plans to bump New Hampshire later in the presidential primary calendar. In February 2023 she confirmed she will challenge Biden.
President and CEO, Generational Group; founder, Create Church
Ryan Binkley, a wealth advisor and pastor, recently crossed the 50,000-donor threshold to qualify for a primary debate (although he has yet to meet the polling requirements). Binkley weaves his faith and family experience into much of his campaign messaging. In his campaign announcement he said, "It’s time for America to be revived economically and spiritually."
Governor, North Dakota (2016 - present); co-founder, Arthur Ventures; founder, Kilbourne Group; former president, Great Plains Software
Doug Burgum surprised many politicos when he announced his presidential campaign in June. He does not have the name recognition of many other candidates, but he may get attention for recent bills he signed in North Dakota, including a ban on abortion after six weeks and a ban on gender-related care for minors. So far he is focusing his campaign on the economy and energy policy.
Governor of New Jersey (2010 - 2018); U.S. District Attorney in New Jersey (2002 - 2008); Campaign Counsel, Bush for President Campaign (2000)
Chris Christie announced his campaign for president in June. He is a fiery critic of former president Trump and called him "a bitter, angry man who wants power back for himself." Christie has his own share of controversies, including so-called "Bridgegate," but argues he owns up to his mistakes and wants to bring the country together.
Governor of Florida (2019 – present); representative, U.S. House of Representatives (2013 – 2018); Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has gained national attention for splashy, “anti-Woke” policies, from a tax break for gas stoves, to banning AP African American studies, to flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. Some Republicans see him as a more electable version of Trump, but others - such as Nikki Haley - argue he is "mini Trump" without any new policy ideas. DeSantis officially announced his presidential campaign in May.
Conservative talk show host; attorney; candidate, governor of California (2021)
Larry Elder is a long-time conservative commentator for both TV and radio. He first ran for office in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election; he came in first among Republicans but did not get enough votes to oust Democrat Gavin Newsom. In April 2023 he announced his presidential campaign. His website states, "As a California resident, I’ve seen firsthand how decades of Democrat rule have turned the Golden State, for many, into an unaffordable dystopia. I won’t let them do the same to America."
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (2017 - 2018); governor, South Carolina (2011 - 2017); representative, South Carolina House of Representatives (2004 - 2010)
Nikki Haley served as governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under president Trump. While she once said she would not run against Trump, her campaign announcement in February included a clear jab at both Trump and Biden: “America is not past our prime, it’s just that our politicians are past theirs.” She also touted her success as a first-generation Indian American. “Joe and Kamala even say America is racist. Nothing could be further from the truth,” she said.
Representative, U.S. House of Representatives (2014 - 2020); Central Intelligence Agency (2000 - 2009); cybersecurity advisor
Hurd is a former U.S. representative and CIA officer. He is known for his bipartisanship in Congress and is unafraid of criticizing former president Trump. In his campaign announcement video he said, "If we nominate a lawless, selfish, failed politician like Donald Trump who lost the House, the Senate, and the White House, we all know Joe Biden will win again."
Governor of Arkansas (2015 – 2023); Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2003 - 2005); administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (2001 - 2003); Representative, U.S. House of Representatives (1997 – 2001); co-founder, Hutchinson Group, LLC
Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, a vocal critic of Donald Trump from a deep-red state, announced his presidential campaign in early April. In an interview with CBS, he said he believes voters are “looking for someone that is not going to be creating chaos, but also has got the record of being a governor, of lowering taxes.”
President, Perry Johnson International Holdings; expert in ISO standards
Johnson is a businessman with a background in international quality control standards. He took a leap into the 2024 presidential race with Super Bowl ad buys in Iowa and New Hampshire. He is running on a "Two Cents Plan" to cut federal spending by 2% every year.
Former President and COO, Morgan Keegan and Company (1992 - 2001); Mayor, Cranston, RI (2003 - 2007); candidate, U.S. House of Representatives (2014); candidate, U.S. Senate (2006)
After a decade working in finance, Steve Laffey served as mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island from 2003 to 2007. While his residence is in Colorado, he told WMUR, "I'm here for three months. I'm living in Manchester. My kids are coming. My family will come. You thought the Kennedys campaigned hard in the '60s? Every single person in New Hampshire will meet my family. And we're going to breakthrough right here, right in New England, where I'm from."
Vice president of the United States (2017 – 2021); governor of Indiana (2013 – 2017); representative, U.S. House of Representatives (2001 – 2013)
There was a rift between former vice president Mike Pence and former president Donald Trump over the certification of the 2020 election results and the attack on the Capitol January 6th. Since then Pence published a book and has been traveling the United States to publicize his policy ideas. One notable difference between Pence and some other Republicans is his vocal support for pro-life policies.
Founder, Roivant Sciences; co-founder, Strive Asset Management; author
Vivek Ramaswamy is an entrepreneur who gained attention from Republicans after publishing “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.” In an editorial announcing his campaign he wrote, “I am launching not only a political campaign but a cultural movement to create a new American Dream—one that is not only about money but about the unapologetic pursuit of excellence.” Ramaswamy is new to politics and may face an uphill battle on name recognition.
Senator, U.S. Senate (2013 – present); Representative, U.S. House of Representatives (2011 – 2013); financial services
Sen. Tim Scott is competing against a fellow Carolinian, former governor Nikki Haley. He said in a recent Iowa speech, “I see a future where common sense has rebuilt common ground, where we’ve created real unity, not by compromising away our conservatism, but by winning converts to our conservatism.”
U.S. President (2016 - 2020); Businessman; Television personality; Author; CEO, The Trump Organization; Chairman, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Inc.
Shortly after the 2022 midterm election former president Donald Trump announced his third presidential campaign from Florida. Sticking with his previous campaign catchphrase, he said, “Our country was great. Our country is not great anymore.” He is still a formidable campaign fundraiser, but Republicans are not as enchanted with him as they were in the past.
Mayor of Manchester, NH (2017 - present)
Currently the mayor of Manchester, NH, Joyce Craig is the first woman to occupy the office. Now, she has set her sights on the governorship, and officially launched her campaign in July. She has served as Manchester’s mayor since 2018. She is known as a strong fundraiser and defeated well-known incumbent Ted Gatsas, making her a potentially formidable candidate.
Executive Councilor, District 2 (2020 - present); 40 years of health care experience in laboratory medicine, hospital managerial positions, and health care regulatory law
Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington has announced she is running for New Hampshire Governor in 2024. She describes herself as a lifelong health care advocate and served as partner at the Shaheen & Gordon law firm before running for office. As the lone Democrat on the Executive Council, she has gained a reputation for pushing Republican councilors and Gov. Sununu on abortion-related issues.
Former Senator, US Senate (2011 - 2016); NH Attorney General (2004 - 2009)
Former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte served as New Hampshire’s attorney general before her election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. She lost re-election in 2016 in a close race against then-Gov. Maggie Hassan. Ayotte broke with fellow Republicans that year when she chose to disavow Donald Trump. Ayotte announced her campaign for governor at the end of July.
Hillsborough County Deputy Treasurer; owner, Burns Automation; Manchester Selectman; National Youth Coalition Chair, Donald Trump for President
Robert Burns is a former Hillsborough County treasurer. He made an unsuccessful bid for the 2018 GOP congressional nomination in the Second Congressional District before winning the 2022 Republican nomination. Ultimately, he lost to Rep. Annie Kuster. While he admits to “taking a look at” running for governor, he’s also weighing another bid for Congress.
Senator, NH Senate (2006 - 2022); President, Freshwater Farms & Garden Center; Former Representative, NH House of Representatives; Former Selectman and Moderator, Town of Salem
Former State Senate President Chuck Morse ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 2022, placing second behind Don Bolduc. Morse has served decades in state office and is well-known within political circles. He arrived at his U.S. Senate campaign announcement riding a skid-steer loader. Morse officially announced his run for governor the same day Sununu announced his retirement.