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Far-right candidate Don Bolduc becomes GOP nominee in New Hampshire's Senate race

Bolduc, supporter of multiple conspiracy theories and extremist policies, will face incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) in November.

By Josh Israel - September 14, 2022
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Don Bolduc
New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senate candidate Don Bolduc speaks on the radio program, "John Fredericks Show," during a primary night campaign gathering, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Hampton, N.H.

Republicans in New Hampshire have nominated Don Bolduc, a far-right politician and former brigadier general of the Army, as their candidate for the state’s U.S. Senate seat. Following his narrow victory in the primary on Tuesday, Bolduc will face Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) this November.

Hassan, who was governor of New Hampshire prior to serving in the Senate, is seeking a second term. She has supported abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and efforts to protect voting rights and democratic elections.

Bolduc, who has voiced support for anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion rights, and anti-democracy policies, previously ran unsuccessfully for his party’s Senate nomination in 2020.

This time around, he overcame the opposition of the state’s senate president, Chuck Morse, and nine other Republican candidates. Bolduc’s candidacy was also challenged by ads funded via a super PAC linked to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and, although he didn’t endorse any candidates, comments by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) that criticized him. Sununu deemed Bolduc “not a serious candidate” and “a conspiracy theorist.”

While he has not committed to supporting a federal ban on abortion, Bolduc has repeatedly stated he is against abortion rights. In December 2021, Bolduc privately described himself to the Dover Republican Committee as “unapologetically pro-life,” and “I’m not gonna vote contrary to” anti-abortion causes.

In June, Bolduc praised the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision which struck down the judicial precedent for abortion rights set by the court in Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years prior. “As a pro-life candidate, I believe the Supreme Court made the right decision,” he said in a statement.

Recent polls found that both the Dobbs decision and restriction of abortion rights are unpopular with amongst a majority of New Hampshire voters.

Bolduc has also been sharply critical of federal safety net programs. As a candidate in 2020, he proposed making $2 trillion in cuts and a gradual end to the Social Security program. During his current campaign, at a Sept. 7 primary debate, he again called for replacement of Social Security with “a different system” for future generations.

Bolduc also proposed a $1.2 trillion cut to Medicare. At another debate in August, he explained that he opposed allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices because “anything that the government’s involved in is not good and doesn’t work, period.” He then falsely claimed “Medicare doesn’t negotiate anything. They do it with third-party insurance companies.”

Bolduc has proposed major cuts to federal government agencies as well. “The whole damn government needs to be audited and needs to be reduced big time,” he stated at the August debate, specifically naming the “Energy [Department], the EPA, Homeland Security, the IRS, the Federal Reserve, and the Department of Education.” At the debate on Sep. 7, he added the Departments of Labor, Veterans Affairs, and Defense to his list of agencies he wants to significantly cut.

In addition to supporting conspiracy theories that former President Donald Trump really won the 2020 election, which he called “stolen,” Bolduc has vowed to “absolutely” overturn a possible President Joe Biden reelection win in 2024. He also supported a repeal of the 17th Amendment,  which guarantees the right of voters to choose their own U.S. senators.

Bolduc previously earned the backing of six lawmakers in New Hampshire who advanced legislation calling for the state to secede from the union and become a “sovereign nation.” He also received endorsements from three other state representatives who co-authored a December 2020 letter demanding for “termination of the state” of New Hampshire’s government based on “fraud” in the 2020 election.

Bolduc also has a long record of sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks. In November 2019, he told a joke at a local GOP meeting about locking his wife and dog in the trunk of his car. “You close the trunk. Walk away, have a cup of coffee, come back in an hour, open up the trunk,” he joked, “and who’s going to be happy to see you? Not the wife!”

In March 2020, he used racist language to describe the COVID-19 virus, incorrectly calling it the “China Coronavirus.” He defended himself as “not a racist person at all” because he “served 33 years in the military, an institution that was the first to desegregate of any in our society in 1948.”

He incorrectly claimed in January 2020 that the Civil War — fought largely over the issue of slavery — was the result of insufficient compromise. “The Civil War was started because the parties, because they couldn’t come together,” he said. “There were reasons for fighting it. But they couldn’t get together to figure it out so we just had a war. Gridlock, blaming, pointing the finger. Not working together, not being a partnered team.”

Bolduc also used a homophobic language in an August 2020 campaign ad, telling voters, “I didn’t spend my life defending this country to let a bunch of liberal, socialist pansies squander it away.” He previously told voters that he did not believe federal civil rights laws protected LGBTQ people and called himself “a believer in traditional marriage.”

“Don Bolduc is the most extreme Senate nominee in modern New Hampshire history. Bolduc is an election denier who would ban abortion nationwide, end Social Security, decimate Medicare, and undermine our democracy,” Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a statement, Hassan wrote:

I have worked across the aisle to get results for New Hampshire and taken on corporate special interests to lower costs. This campaign will be a clear contrast between my record of delivering for the people of New Hampshire and Don Bolduc’s radical, backward-looking agenda. If Don Bolduc had his way in the U.S. Senate, he would work to end Social Security, decimate Medicare, and vote to ban abortion nationwide. Don Bolduc is simply too extreme for New Hampshire, and his agenda is wildly out of touch with Granite Staters.

Now that Bolduc has become the Republican nominee, the Cook Political Report determined that the New Hampshire Senate contest will “lean” in favor of the Democratic nominee.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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