Pints and Politics Democratic Governor’s Debate 7-30-20

Feltes and Volinsky Agree about the Need to Defeat Governor Sununu But Disagree about the NASCAR Race This Weekend.

Volinsky Would Shut it down, and Feltes Would Allow It with Tighter Health Restrictions.

Dan Feltes, the majority leader of the New Hampshire Senate and Andru Volinsky, a member of the Executive Council of New Hampshire, are campaigning to be their party’s choice to run against Governor Chris Sununu. The Democratic Party Primary will be held on Tuesday, September 8, and the General Election will be on Tuesday, November 3. Senator Dan Feltes and Councilman Andy Volinsky met at the Barley House in Concord for a socially distanced debate which is being aired on WKXL on Thursday, July 30th. Chris Ryan will be the moderator as part of the Pints and Politics series.

In his opening remarks, Andru Volinsky outlined his reasons for running—lowering property taxes, improving schools, and stopping pipelines which cross New Hampshire. Volinsky described his middle-class background, his legal record of fighting for economic justice, and his commitment to battling climate change.

Dan Feltes used his opening remarks to contrast his middle-class background with that of Governor Chris Sununu. He went on to list legislation designed to help working class families which he helped to pass in the legislature, and Senator Feltes also described similar legislation which has been blocked by the 72 vetoes of Governor Sununu.
The first question addressed by the candidates was related to the COVID-19 pandemic: Are Granite Staters safe in sending their children back to school?

Both candidates criticized a lack of leadership by Governor Sununu and suggested steps which need to be taken for students and teachers to safely enter reopened schools. As a bottom line, neither candidate could say that they know if it is safe to send students back until more information about school safety is made available by local school districts.
The next debate question put to the Democratic candidates was: How would you have addressed the COVID-19 pandemic differently than Governor Sununu?

Councilman Volinsky and Senator Feltes were both critical of Governor Sununu’s handling of this crisis. The Councilman felt that the Governor was slow to act and lacked decisiveness, and the Senator listed numerous vetoes of legislation which would have helped people who were economically affected by the shutdown. Andru Volinsky would ban the NASCAR race this weekend. Dan Feltes would bolster the public health order. He would tighten health restrictions but allow the race to occur.

The enhanced unemployment benefit of $600 a week was the third topic addressed in the debate. Senator Feltes believes that giving laid off workers $600 in addition to their unemployment benefits during the pandemic was and is the right thing to do in order to keep the economy afloat. Councilman Volinsky cites testimony from small business people that many workers have decided to stay home and collect the enhanced unemployment benefits rather than return to work. The Councilman favors other types of payments being provided now that the enhanced unemployment benefits have run out.