Campaign Countdown: Meet the candidates for NH’s 2nd Congressional District

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 4:58 PM EDT
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WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - It’s less than three weeks till Election Day, when New Hampshire voters will weigh in on their choice for the state’s 2nd Congressional District. Republican Businessman Robert Burns is looking to unseat Democrat Annie Kuster, who is seeking her sixth term.

“For the first time, I’m running on safety and freedom,” said Rep. Kuster. She says those issues touch everything from gun violence to women’s reproductive health. “What I’m finding talking to voters is that they want less government interference in people’s personal lives and they plan to vote Democrat because of that.”

Kuster predicts that Democrats will have a strong showing at the polls in November, saying Republican primaries across the country have nominated extreme candidates. “These are things that used to be Republican bedrock values, but right now Republicans are really running on chaos,” she said.

Robert Burns, the Republican running against Kuster, is not a politician. “The major reason that I started running was supply chain issues,” he said.

Burns owns a business in the pharmaceutical industry. On the campaign trail, he talks about the need to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and the dangers of artificial intelligence. “I think it is important that you have someone running for Congress who is talking about this sort of thing, this technology. Everything can’t be about a single social issue,” Burns said.

When it comes to abortion, Burns calls himself pro-life and supports the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade. “The thing is, right now, the Democrats are very extreme on abortion. They want 40 weeks, no restrictions, paid for by the government,” Burns said.

A pro-Democrat Super PAC began amplifying Burns’ stance on the issues even before the primary.

“This is a real transition for the Republican party, that President Trump has led them down this path,” Kuster said.

Burns does not back away from the former president but also notes that he hasn’t been endorsed him, likely because he never supported Trump’s 2020 election claims. He says Kuster is bought and paid for by big business. “I don’t have any corporate donations and there is a reason for that. Kuster gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from the medical industry, the pharmaceutical industry, from hospitals, from the insurance companies,” Burns said.

But Kuster defends her record of standing up to special interests by highlighting votes to cap prescription costs, the price of insulin, and eliminate vaccine copays. She also says she has been known to reach across the aisle on important issues. “Addiction, mental health, ending sexual violence in the military and on college campuses,” she points out.

The midterm elections come as inflation continues to hit voters in their wallets. That’s something Burns is hoping he can take advantage of.

“Obviously, when we are talking about what’s on the minds of voters, they are concerned about inflation, energy costs,” he said.

Along with being millions behind in the fundraising race, Burns has an uphill battle when it comes to name recognition. But he says he will continue getting his name out through the media and talking directly to voters about the issues they care about.