Sununu takes oath, vows to retain first-in-the-nation primary

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 1:26 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 7:40 PM EST
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CONCORD, N.H. (WCAX) - New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu was sworn in for a fourth term Thursday.

Two years ago, he was sworn in during a private ceremony because of concerns about both the coronavirus pandemic and potential violence. But Thursday’s inauguration was back at the Statehouse before a crowd of lawmakers, state officials, and guests.

Sounding confident, Sununu spent much of his speech highlighting New Hampshire’s successes. At a time when the nation and state are deeply divided, he called for cooperation, civic engagement, and local control. He said New Hampshire’s Individual’ ahead of ‘The System’” approach has become a model for the rest of the country, especially during the pandemic. “Big government authoritarianism might be how they do it in 49 other states, but that’s not how we do it in New Hampshire,” Sununu said.

The governor said he wants to continue with that ground-up approach when it comes to issues including expanding economic opportunity, education, and the fight against opioids, and that he will continue to resist mandates from other states and Washington. “We have to continue to protect our interests from the policies of other states and ensure that we have the resources needed to make our voice heard is critical. That we come together and get this done - everyone from seniors to those on fixed incomes, young families -- they are all counting on us to get this right,” he said.

Republicans are in control in both the New Hampshire House and Senate. But in the House, it’s a razor-thin majority, which means any legislation that is passed will likely need bipartisan support.

Among other issues, Sununu vowed to make sure that the New Hampshire presidential primary remains in the Granite State, saying he had a message for President Biden: “You can try to come and take it but that is never going to happen. It’s just not in our DNA to take orders from Washington. We will not be blackmailed. We will not be threatened, and we will not give up. You see, the New Hampshire Primary has stood the test of time, giving everyone a fair shot.”

Reporter Ike Bendavid will have more on Sununu’s address on the Channel 3 News tonight.

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