Hillsborough County Democrats’ picnic hosts 7 presidential candidates

  • John Delaney speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Michael Bennet speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Amy Klobuchar speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Executive Counselor Andru Volinsky announces he’s exploring a run for Governor in 2020 at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Amy Klobuchar speaks with residents following her speech at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Julian Castro speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Andrew Yang speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Steve Marchand announces he’s exploring a run for Governor in 2020 at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday.at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Julian Castro speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Andrew Yang speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Andrew Yang speaks with residents at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Bill de Blasio speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Julian Castro meets with residents at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Bill de Blasio speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Seth Moulton speaks at the Hillsborough County Democrats picnic in Greenfield on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/19/2019 3:34:55 PM

As the deadline to qualify for the fall debates approach, seven lower-tier Democratic presidential candidates met with voters and made their best pitch for the White House Sunday at the Hillsborough County Democrats annual picnic in Greenfield.

Former U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, former U.S. Congressman John Delaney, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton and businessman Andrew Yang all gave their stump speeches to the crowd, pushing for party unity, immigration reform and action on climate change.

Klobuchar and Yang were the only candidates at the picnic Sunday to have already met the Democratic National Committee requirements to participate in the upcoming third-round of Democratic primary debates, scheduled for September. Castro is close to qualifying. He has reported meeting fundraising requirements and is pushing to meet polling requirements by the end of August to participate.

During short speeches, candidates hit on many of the same elements. Climate change, immigration reform and health care reform were a common thread.

Area residents who attended Sunday’s picnic said they’re still keeping an open mind when it comes to who will get their vote in 2020.

“It’s way too early to decide,” said Greta McGregor of Goffstown, despite sporting a “Bernie” pin in support of Bernie Sanders.

“We have a lot of good people to choose from,” she said.

Several residents said they were most interested in Castro and Yang.

“They came across much stronger, compared to everyone else,” said Robin McCune of Goffstown.

McCune said she agrees with many points brought up by the candidates, but said she needed more specifics on their plans, particularly when it comes to addressing climate change.

Castro had a strong showing during his speech, rousing continuous applause and at one point bringing people to their feet during his condemnation of the treatment of immigrants and the family separation policy and when he called for compassionate immigration reform.

“Julian Castro came off very favorably, in my opinion,” Jim Mason of Hancock said. “I would have no problem voting for Castro right now.”

Yang, whose speech focused mainly on the changing state of the economy and the continuing automation of the workforce and its impact American jobs also drew praise.

“Yang, on a variety of issues, seems to be very forward-looking and modern-minded,” Dan Adams of Hancock said.

Two possible gubernatorial candidates also had time in front of voters, to announce they were exploring runs against Governor Chris Sununu in 2020.

Executive Council member Andru Volinsky and former Mayor of Portsmouth Steve Marchand both said they are in the early stages of putting together a run for Governor.

Volinsky was the lead attorney representing the town of Claremont when it sued the state over the issue of school funding. He also represented Dover in a similar suit. Volinsky spoke about the funding disparity and the need for a more equitable system. He also called out Sununu’s veto of the state budget, which included school funding increases.

Marchand made a run for governor in 2016 and 2018, but never made it out of the primaries. He slammed Sununu’s veto record and said his vetoes of red flag laws and a 48-hour waiting period for firearm purchas es were out of step  wit h the New Hampshire public.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext . 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twiter @AshleySaariMLT.


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