tags: Targeted Races

Sununu (R-NH-Sen)

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RESULT: Shaheen 52% – Sununu 45% 

The Race:

John Sununu was first elected to the United States Senate in 2002. He is seeking a second term and running against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, the former governor of New Hampshire. “In November 2006, Sununu got an early warning of the perils he faces when he comes for re-election in 2008. Both House Republicans from New Hampshire were defeated, and Democrats took control of the state legislature.” [Almanac of American Politics, accessed 9/23/08] Both Sununu and Shaheen were nominated with 89% of the vote in their respective primaries. [National Journal, accessed 9/23/08] “The Sununu-Shaheen [Senate] race is a rematch of 2002, when Sununu, then a congressman, beat Shaheen, then a three-term governor, by about 20,000 votes.” [Concord Monitor, 7/24/08] This go-around, Shaheen took an early double-digit lead in the polls, but the race remains competitive. [Roll Call, 10/7/08]

The Sununu Position:

ENFORCEMENT PLUS TEMPORARY WORKERS. The Sununu campaign sent a mailer to Ron Paul supporters that contained a quote from Paul saying Sununu “shares my commitment to freedom; to let Americans keep more of their own money, to protect our privacy and stop a national ID card and to secure our borders and end illegal immigration.” [The Union Leader, 9/18/08]

On his campaign website, Sununu’s immigration position favors “real immigration reform.” His site states, “In 2007, John opposed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill because it would have rewarded those who broke the law by giving them an advantage over those who play by the rules and are on the legal path to citizenship.” He also said, “Unfortunately, many aspects of our immigration system have deteriorated over the years and now require significant reform.” [John Sununu for Senate, accessed 9/22/08]

Sununu’s campaign website also touts his record of securing the Mexican border. “To this end, the Senator has consistently supported legislation to improve border security. Specifically, he is a co-sponsor of the Border Security First Act (S. 2348) which would appropriate $3 billion to fund personnel, equipment, and technology upgrades – including the deployment of 23,000 new border patrol agents and the construction of nearly 700 miles of fencing – needed to secure our borders.” Sununu also supports visa reform “to improve the visa process for foreign workers to supplement unmet labor needs while enforcing accountability in the process.” He favored establishing English as the official language and abolishing sanctuary cities. He also opposes providing illegal immigrants with federal benefits or driver’s licenses. [John Sununu for Senate, accessed 9/22/08]

The Shaheen Position:

LEANS COMPREHENSIVE. Shaheen talked about her immigration position at the annual picnic of the state’s Farm Bureau and Timberland Owners Associations. She focused on the needs of America’s farmers and said immigration reform was an important debate that was overshadowed by politics. She said, “In our effort to address that, we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater.” [Concord Monitor, 8/13/08] As the Governor of New Hampshire, Shaheen met with American Ambassador Paul Cellucci to discuss a new Canada-U.S. perimeter security plan. “Governor Jeanne Shaheen says the idea of harmonizing Canadian and American immigration regulations was discussed when she met with several federal ministers in Ottawa,” according to a 2001 story. [Broadcast News, 10/18/01] Shaheen’s campaign website revealed no information on her immigration stance.

New Hampshire Senate