Rep. Chris Pappas, incumbent Democrat of New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District is up for reelection against Republican candidate Matt Mowers.
According to Pappas’ campaign website, his platform focuses on confronting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, improving affordable health care and standing up for reproductive rights. Pappas has worked to protect students’ right to vote
, and raise the federal minimum wage. He is also pushing for equity and accountability in the criminal justice system and protecting the environment.
Pappas, who was born and raised in Manchester, N.H., has been adamant about the importance of youth voters, stating in an email interview with The New Hampshire, “I’m running for re-election to do all I can to ensure New Hampshire weathers these crises and thrives in the future, and I know that we can’t accomplish that without the help of young people.”
In his time as a state representative, Pappas felt the most rewarding and valuable work that he has done was “representing the people of the First District is all about helping people, especially during tough times.” This includes cosponsoring the Equality Act, passing legislation for free COVID-19 testing and treatment, and helping constituents access unemployment benefits.
As for the biggest local issue that Pappas wanted to address, he said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown us into both a public health crisis and an economic crisis, and shown us the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health care, and that we’re helping young people who want to stay in New Hampshire by investing in affordable housing and working to bring down the cost of college.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the country, many campaigns have had to shift gears and find the safest way to get the word out about voting. For the Pappas campaign, they have adjusted by hosting Zoom “house parties” and peer-to-peer texting voters.
Pappas encouraged youth voters to make sure their voice is heard and that “real change will only happen if we all work as hard as we can to make sure folks get out to vote.”
Matt Mowers is the Republican candidate running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives for New Hampshire’s first congressional district. He previously worked as a field coordinator and battleground state director on President Trump’s transition team before becoming a senior White House adviser in the State Department, according to Mowers’ website.
Mowers’ main concern is protecting the “New Hampshire advantage” for future generations. He believes that “politicians in Washington are pushing tax increases that would make life more difficult for working families, business owners, and young people who want to be able to afford to live in the state.” Mowers is also opposed to implementing any new income or sales taxes in the state.
While Mowers was at the State Department, he oversaw the United States global HIV/AIDS program, PEPFAR, which provides live saving treatment for those infected with the disease. He was able to work with Congress to complete a bipartisan reauthorization bill for the program.
His reason for running for Congress is to bring a new generation of leadership to Washington. Mowers believes that too many current politicians have been in office for too long, and he wants to “cut through the noise and get Washington working again,” all while pledging to keep taxes low and deliver relief for small businesses and working families. Mowers hopes that his campaign promises will drive UNH students to vote for him.
The Mowers campaign put their in-person events on hold for several months due to the pandemic but are back on the trail now. The campaign has also focused on young voter outreach, establishing a Students for Mowers coalition which includes student interns and volunteers running campaign events.
Zachary Dumont is the Libertarian candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives for New Hampshire’s first congressional district. Dumont earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 2017 and has served as a Town Councilor on the Budget Committee in Newmarket, N.H. for the past three years.
Dumont considers housing and the cost of living to be the most pressing local issues for N.H.’s first congressional district and hopes to address these if he gets into office.
“A tight housing market leads to an uptick in the local cost of living, an uptick in [that] causes increasing housing prices, and so on,” Dumont said. “I’d hope to leverage the influence of the federal government to reduce inflation and better invest in local programs with federal tax dollars.”
His campaign, like many others, had to adapt and began using social media and video interviews and virtual events as ways to keep active with potential voters.
“I think we’ve done and admirable job in reaching voters and answering the tough questions we’d expect in a non-pandemic campaign,” he said.
Dumont says he is running because, as a young American, he “often feels left out and forgotten” by the federal government, and he wants to make a change to the current political system which he feels “does not make any true progress” and only leaves problems for the next generation.
Some of Dumont’s accomplishments include: “improving N.H.’s green spaces, national forest, state parks, and related [areas].” From his junior year in high school through his junior year at UNH, Dumont “spent many weeks rehabilitating and serving environmental causes.”
“Every year we allow [to] pass without a real solution to problems like these further places us at a disadvantage. It’s my hope that if supported by the UNH student body and elected to represent [NH’s first congressional district], the student body could trust in me that when debating hot button and difficult questions, they know I have their viewpoints in mind,” said Dumont about youth voters.
Photo Courtesy (from left to right) of Chris Pappas, Matt Mowers, Zachary Dumont