2020 New Hampshire Governor Candidate Guide

Dan Feltes (Democrat)
Dan Feltes (Democrat)
Chris Sununu (Republican - Incumbent)
Chris Sununu (Republican - Incumbent)

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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – Support Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare? Support expanding Medicaid and Medicare?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Sponsored bill to protect people with pre-existing conditions by codifying provisions of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire law. Led efforts to reauthorize Medicaid expansion.

Chris Sununu – Mixed. Has opposed ACA but also opposed repeal without replacement. “Completely dismantling the ACA would have a … shocking effect on our system.” Signed bill to protect coverage in state for pre-existing conditions and signed Medicaid expansion

CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Require more disclosure about the sources of campaign financing?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Sponsored bill to ban corporate contributions. Calls it “important” to increase disclosure of campaign contributions and election spending.

Chris Sununu – No. Vetoed bill requiring issues advocacy organizations to register and report receipts. Says it is “unnecessary and would have a chilling effect on our citizens’ rights.” 

CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?

Dan Feltes – Yes. “Combatting the existential threat of climate change is both a necessity and an opportunity.”

Chris Sununu – No. “I don’t know for sure. … I think we should keep looking at it.” 

CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases? Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Transition off fossil fuels by 50% by 2030 and be fully powered by clean energy by 2050. His Green Jobs, Green Future plan includes investing in community solar and wind power and expanding net metering. 

Chris Sununu – Mostly no. Only New England governor not to join U.S. Climate Alliance. “I stand by” Trump’s Paris Climate Agreement withdrawal. Vetoed solar expansion bills. Signed ban of offshore oil and gas drilling.

COVID-19 ECONOMIC RESPONSE – Economic response to coronavirus pandemic?

Dan Feltes – Supports housing protections for renters and homeowners, health insurance for COVID treatment and testing. Says CARES Act funds, rather than budget cuts, should be used to fix state budget deficit. Wants office of racial equity within the governor’s office.

Chris Sununu – Has funded businesses and nonprofits “more than 49 other states.” Fix state budget deficit by finding efficiencies and giving each agency targets for cutting. Don’t raise business taxes. Work with commission to implement ideas on fixing economic and social inequality.

EDUCATION – Increase K-12 public funding?

Dan Feltes – Yes. “We must … ensure that every student, regardless of where they grow up, receives a great public education.”

Chris Sununu – Mixed. Vetoed 2019 education increases, then signed compromise budget with increased funding

EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

Dan Feltes – Mostly no. Opposes rewriting CARES Act “to send taxpayer dollars that should go to public schools to private schools.” Support existing charter schools but don’t fund new ones.

Chris Sununu – Yes. Supports “choice.” Will earmark $1.5 million in federal CARES Act funding to organizations that distribute scholarships for private, religious, and home school programs.

ENVIRONMENT –  Tighten or loosen environmental laws?

Dan Feltes – Tighten. As governor would “join lawsuits taking on our polluters to ensure that those who destroy our environment and natural resources are held accountable.”

Chris Sununu – Mixed. Sued chemical company for drinking water contamination. Signed bill banning offshore drilling. Supported more reliance on natural gas and nuclear power.

GUN LAWS – Enact more restrictive gun legislation?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Supports “common-sense” gun safety measures, including universal background checks, gun-free school zones, a three-day waiting period, and red-flag legislation.

Chris Sununu – No. “I do not support making any changes to our existing Second Amendment laws.” Vetoed “red-flag” law permitting temporary removal of firearms from people at risk.

IMMIGRATION – Encourage or restrict immigration?

Dan Feltes – Encourage. Supports protections for “DREAMers.” Opposed Trump funding for border wall. Opposed bill limiting adult-education programs to “legal residents.”

Chris Sununu – Mixed. Supports strengthened vetting process. Undocumented immigrants brought as children should remain. But did not join multi-state suit against border wall.

LABOR – Support “right- to-work” laws, eliminating unions’ ability to mandate dues for workers they represent?

Dan Feltes – No. Voted to kill “right-to-work” bill introduced in the New Hampshire Senate.

Chris Sununu – Yes. “A supporter of right to work,” has supported statewide right-to-work bills that have not passed.

LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?

Dan Feltes – Keep legal. Voted to require health insurance plans with maternity benefits to cover abortion.

Chris Sununu – Mixed. “A pro-choice governor.” But signed “fetal homicide bill,” opposes taxpayer-funded abortions, and supports late-term- abortion ban.

LGBT RIGHTS – Support protection from discrimination on sexual orientation?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Voted to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Co-sponsored bill to expand definition of gender discrimination.

Chris Sununu – Yes. Signed laws outlawing gender-based discrimination and banning gay conversion therapy for minors.

MARIJUANA – Legalize recreational marijuana?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Voted for legalization: “both an economic and racial justice issue.”

Chris Sununu – No. Opposes efforts to legalize.

MINIMUM WAGE – Raise state hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Raise to $15 over time. “States that have raised minimum wages to $15 an hour have seen their economies grow and thrive.”

Chris Sununu – No. Vetoed minimum-wage bill. “If you start pushing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, … something has to give.”

PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Support Planned Parenthood’s receiving public funds for non-abortion-related care?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Supported state funding for family planning after Trump administration “gag rule.” Supports “a woman’s right to a full range of reproductive services.”

Chris Sununu – Mixed. Voted against funding in 2015. Signed 2019 budget funding family planning services after Trump administration implemented a “gag rule,” effectively ending federal funding.

POLICE/COMMUNITY ISSUES – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Dan Feltes – Yes. In State Senate passed bill that “bans choke holds by police and mandates police reporting of misconduct by other police.” “We must do more including updating police standards and training with implicit bias training and de-escalation.”

Chris Sununu – Yes. Signed a “bill to ban police choke holds and require mandatory reporting of police misconduct.” Formed commission to recommend police training reforms.

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID – Support lower interest on student loans or forgiving them?

Dan Feltes – Yes. Co-sponsored bill to encourage employers to pay off part of employees’ student debt. Co-sponsored SB529, a workforce development student debt relief program.

Chris Sununu – Yes. In 2019 called for diverting scholarship funds for student debt relief, a plan rejected in the legislature. In 2020 supports SB529, a related plan.

TAXES – Support cuts in state taxes?

Dan Feltes – Mixed. Does “not support a broad-based income or sales tax.” Wants to relieve rising property taxes, “close corporate loopholes,” and increase taxes multinationals pay.

Chris Sununu – No. Vetoed state income taxes, lowered business taxes, and sought to keep those cuts in the face of the pandemic.

VOTING RULES – Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Dan Feltes – No. “Voting rights are under attack as part of systematic effort.” Seeks automatic voter registration, online voter registration, and permanent no-excuse absentee voting.

Chris Sununu – Yes. Vetoed bills establishing automatic voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting. Signed bill law that, before a court limited its reach, required college students who voted to re-register cars in the state.

Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.