One month after Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig (D) announced the formation of an exploratory committee to consider a run for governor, her fellow Democrat Cinde Warmington took the plunge. She released an announcement video Thursday declaring she is a candidate for governor, along with an extensive list of endorsements.
“As the only Democrat on the Executive Council, I stood up for women to be free to make their own health care decisions. I took on Chris Sununu when he signed New Hampshire’s first abortion ban. Now I’m running for governor,” Warmington said in the video.
Warmington continued, “We’ve had enough extremist battles over abortion and vouchers and banning books. It’s time to put people over politics.” Her announcement focused on abortion, affordable housing, mental health, and fentanyl as her main campaign issues.
A self-described “health care advocate” and lifelong health care attorney, Warmington represents District 2 on the Executive Council, consisting of townships from Grafton, Sullivan, Cheshire, and Merrimack Counties.
Teeing up abortion as a major campaign issue in the gubernatorial race, Warmington stated her campaign goal is to “write Roe v. Wade into law and fund Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire.”
As the only Democrat on the Executive Council, Warmington has often been the sole vote in favor of family planning contracts funding Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
Warmington is an opponent of the Education Freedom Account program, which allows low- and middle-income families to use their per-pupil share of the state’s education spending for alternatives like private or home school. She also opposes any restrictions on abortion access.
In response to the announcement, NHGOP Chairman Chris Ager stated, “Warmington is a Concord liberal elitist and would bring nothing but her far leftist agenda to the corner office.”
The field of gubernatorial candidates is just beginning to take shape. Craig’s announcement also appears imminent, as she announced an exploratory committee one month ago.
On the Republican side, former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, and former N.H. Senate President Chuck Morse are rumored to be eyeing a run for governor — if Gov. Sununu decides not to seek a record fifth consecutive term.
Addressing whether she expects to face Sununu in November if she wins the Democratic Party’s nomination, Warmington added, “I don’t know if Chris Sununu is running for governor or president, and frankly, I don’t care.”
If Craig decides to officially launch her campaign, both Warmington and Craig will be in for a hard-fought battle for the Democratic nomination. Craig has already started campaigning, as Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey headlined a fundraiser on Thursday, June 1, in Boston, Mass. – not New Hampshire – in support of Craig’s candidacy for governor.
The advertisement described Craig as a “Democratic Candidate for Governor of New Hampshire.”
Like Craig, Warmington also brings to the race a strong list of endorsements from around the state, including notable Democrats like former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, former Executive Councilor Dudley Dudley, State Sens. Becky Whitley, Donovan Fenton, and Sue Prentiss, and former Speakers of the N.H. House Terie Norelli and Steve Shurtleff. The list includes eight current or former state senators and 29 current or former state representatives.
Weighing in on the race as it stands, Sununu summarized his view of a Craig candidacy with a single question on Wednesday:
“Seriously, does anyone want the state of New Hampshire run like Manchester?”