Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In the News: Valley News

Chasing Hodes

The latest Republican to enter the GOP primary for New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District -- which includes Nashua, Keene and the Upper Valley -- is well-versed on the politics of Washington, and the region.

Grant Bosse, a 35-year-old Hillsboro Republican, has been serving as an aide to U.S. Sen. John Sununu until earlier this month, and also has strong ties to Dartmouth Republicans, having graduated from there in 1994. Bosse in a phone interview yesterday whipped through his three-plank platform -- defending the nation, securing the borders, and cutting taxes and regulation -- and also said he was prepared to criticize incumbent U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, a Concord Democrat, for voting for Congressional earmarks.

“He talked about reform, but there hasn't really been any reform,” said Bosse.

He also said the four-way primary, which includes state Sen. Bob Clegg of Hudson, is hardly unusual for the GOP, noting that Charlie Bass won a 9-way primary in his 1994 bid for the seat.

Bosse, the son of former state House majority leader Leigh Bosse, said he opposes abortion rights, as does Clegg. Bass was a social moderate, and University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala said the district has become increasingly Democratic in its voting patterns.

“It will have to be a very good Republican year nationally for the Republican nominee to have a good shot at taking down Hodes,” Scala said. “Hodes hasn't gotten himself into any trouble, he's raised a lot of money, and it’s a district that fits him well.”

But Bosse, the former program director at Lebanon-based WTSL radio, said he regards it as a “very independent district” that saw local Republicans alienated by the direction of the national party over the past six years.

“We need to get those Republicans as excited to vote as the Democrats who showed up for Obama were to vote,” Bosse said.

John P. Gregg can be reached at