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Hello Reddit! Thank you for allowing me to join you all for this AMA. I am the only candidate for governor to be endorsed by Bernie Sanders this year. I currently serve on New Hampshire's Executive Council, which functions like a board of directors for the state. On the council, I deal with state contracts, and nominations to key state departments and the New Hampshire courts. In New Hampshire, our Democratic primary is September 8th. I am the only candidate for governor who has denied corporate PAC money since day one, and has never exploited the LLC loophole that allows individuals with LLCs to skirt individual contribution limits. I'm also the only candidate to take the Green New Deal Pledge, the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, and to stand against the Granite Bridge fracked-gas Pipeline in our state. Because of this, I recently earned the endorsement of the New Hampshire Sierra Club on the 50th Earth Day.
I'm also the only candidate in this race refusing to take "The Pledge" a relic of the 1970s, invented by Republicans, that has successfully silenced many elected officials of all parties from ever talking about changes to our broken revenue system. The right of every child to have an adequately funded public education has driven me since the 1990s. I was the lead lawyer in the Claremont school funding case that established the constitutional right to an adequate state-funded public education, but too many politicians have lacked the political courage to make that promise a reality. As a first-term Executive Councilor, I challenged the Governor's appointment of an unqualified Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. We lost, but I've continued to hold Frank- our state's equivalent of Betsy DeVos– accountable for his efforts to start new charter schools at direct expense to our struggling public schools.
I grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania, a struggling mill town where the mill failed, that has much in common with many places in New Hampshire. My father worked as a mechanic and maintenance man. He was once a union shop steward, until he lost that job. My dad worked as many as three jobs at once to make ends meet. My mother was a homemaker who raised four kids. Thanks to my elementary and religious school teachers, I did well in school. I earned a college scholarship and became the only one in my family to attend and graduate from college. I planned to take a service position with VISTA, but my father’s heart attack brought me back to Levittown where he worked days as a framing carpenter and ran a bookstore at night. I applied to law school and attended George Washington Law School the next year.
I strongly support workers and organized labor. I was proud to earn the endorsement of the NH Postal Workers Union earlier this week. On the Executive Council, I've questioned every prospective state contractor about the wages of their lowest-paid employee. I've represented unions as a lawyer, working tirelessly on behalf of the New Hampshire Retirement Coalition, which was comprised of the state’s teachers, police, fire fighters, and state employees unions, in an effort to require the state to keep its pension-related promises.
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