- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire’s Republican Party chairwoman is calling Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Colin Van Ostern a “career politician with few real life accomplishments.”

Van Ostern, who on Thursday became the first Democrat to announce a run, has been on the governor’s Executive Council since 2012. A 36-year-old who lives in Concord, he has not held any other elected position, though he has worked for numerous political campaigns.

Van Ostern currently works at Southern New Hampshire University, where he helped launch its online, competency-based College for America. He said his priorities will include reining in student debt, providing access to quality health care and improving the economy by keeping taxes low and supporting commuter rail, among other things.

Responding to his announcement, GOP chairwoman Jennifer Horn said Van Ostern’s commitment to party politics runs deeper than his commitment to the state’s best interests.

The five-member Executive Council approves all gubernatorial appointments and large state contracts. Fellow Councilor Chris Sununu, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, said Thursday he welcomes Van Ostern to the race and looks forward to a spirited race with whoever emerges as an opponent.



“Obviously, Colin and I have very different views. Whereas I spent my years on the Council fighting for a smaller, more responsive and accountable state government, he was, predictably, a reliable vote for government expansion and (Gov.) Maggie Hassan’s political agenda,” said Sununu, son of former Gov. John H. Sununu. Like Van Ostern, he has not held elective office other than his position on the council, where he is in his third term.

Hassan, a Democrat, announced this week she will run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Kelly Ayotte.

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