By Nick Stoico, Executive Editor
Republican Congressional nominee Frank Guinta dropped by the University of New Hampshire Durham campus to meet with a small group of students for a question and answer session Tuesday afternoon in the MUB.
With the midterm elections less than five weeks away, Guinta stressed the importance of connecting with young voters and college students in particular.
“I want to make sure that young people know Frank Guinta is a guy that understands what college students have gone through,” Guinta said. “I understand debt is a challenge for people, that job opportunity is a challenge for people, starting a new business when you graduate from college is a challenge for people and I want to change those things.”
Guinta has pulled ahead in the most recent poll taken by New England College where he has a 10-point lead over Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter in the race for the 1st District seat.
This marks the third election cycle in which Guinta and Shea-Porter are facing off. Guinta unseated Shea-Porter in 2010, but lost in a rematch in 2012.
As two well-known politicians in the state, Guinta and Shea-Porter will need to find new ways in this cycle to attract undecided voters. Guinta emphasized accessibility and expressed his commitment to maintaining a connection with constituents.
“I think when you compare Carol to myself, she doesn’t have any town halls, doesn’t do any outreach to constituents in general,” Guinta said. “[As a congressman] I had two dozen town hall meetings, six job fairs trying to help people of all ages get back into the workforce.
“It’s not just what you do in Washington that matters,” Guinta added. “It’s how you conduct yourself while you are in the office back home, how you can connect and help people.”
Guinta was joined by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois’ 18th district, who is known for being the second youngest member of the House at the age of 33.
Guinta is the latest of the New Hampshire polls to stop by UNH. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown made an appearance in Huddleston Hall back on Sept. 12 and was accompanied by Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky.
Incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was on campus on Saturday speaking to students and stuck around for the UNH-Dartmouth football game later in the evening.
About 15 students participated in the round table discussion, which was sponsored by the UNH College Republicans, Guinta said it is very likely he will pass through Durham again between now and the Nov. 4 election.
“The final five weeks of this campaign is going to be more about how engaged I was as a member of Congress and how inaccessible [Shea-Porter] has been,” Guinta said. “I think that is a sort of nuance that is going to matter when people understand where we stand on the policies of the national level.”