Support Gardner, save primary

To the voters of Greater Nashua:

The Democrats have taken over the Legislature. I get that. The voters of New Hampshire have spoken. But did anyone expect that the Democrat-controlled Legislature’s FIRST official action will be to endanger New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary by attempting to remove the longest serving Secretary of State in the nation?

Secretary of State William Gardner is a national icon. His 42 years of service give him national stature as he zealously guards New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary. Bill Gardner has always had heavily bi-partisan, usually unanimous, support. Why, because he has the trust of both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrat. Secretary of State Gardner is a true public servant. He plays it straight down the middle. He is honest, trustworthy and absolutely committed to maintaining the impartiality of the Secretary of States Office. He has kept the Office of the Secretary of State completely non-partisan. He has publicly stated he “has never accepted a single contribution … or been involved in fundraising of any kind.” There has never been an inkling of corruption. Elections statewide have been run fairly, honestly and efficiently.

Now comes Colin Van Ostern of Concord, who collected $200,000 (100 donations being from outside New Hampshire), determined to become the New Hampshire Secretary of State. You might recall that in 2016, as the Democrat candidate, Van Ostern lost his bid for governor to Chris Sununu. Now, Van Ostern has set his sites on the Secretary of States Office held by fellow Democrat Bill Gardner. It seems to not have occurred to Mr. Van Ostern and his supporters that bringing large amounts of political money into the contest for Secretary of State will irreparably politicize that office. Mr. Van Ostern is a young, up-and-coming politician looking for a stepping stone, so it is doubtful, should he win, that he will stay around anywhere close to Secretary Gardner’s 42-year tenure. But the damage will be done. New Hampshire will not be able to put the toothpaste back in the tube. The Secretary of States Office will henceforth become a political football. Trust in the integrity of our elections will decline as trust in the integrity of the Secretary of States’ office declines. And so our first in the nation primary will be in jeopardy.

Considering what is at stake, one would think that Mr. Van Ostern’s attempt would be quickly swept aside. Not so. In a recent Democrat caucus, a non-binding vote gave Van Ostern 179 votes, and Gardner 23 votes. Now it is up to you, the voters, to stop this reckless behavior. Call your State Representatives and State Senators, especially those newly elected. Tell them to support Secretary Gardner as it is critical he remain Secretary of State to protect our first in the nation primary. Also, tell them doing otherwise will politicize the Secretary of States Office and hurt New Hampshire. This is New Hampshire, not Broward County, Florida.