New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley posted a social media message calling Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte a “fascist fearmonger” over her focus on the surge of illegal crossings at the northern border. It echoes Buckley’s previous claim that Ayotte’s opposition to sanctuary city policies is “thinly veiled racism.”

Ayotte has made the border issue a major focus of her campaign, particularly targeting Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig’s (D) support of sanctuary city policies. Recent news coverage of the massive increase in illegal border activity in the Swanton Sectory, which includes New Hampshire, has made it a hot topic in Granite State politics.

Ayotte posted a statement that “It is clear that we have a serious problem unfolding along our northern border – and the Biden administration is sitting on their hands while dangerous criminals and drugs flow into our state.”

Buckley forwarded this response to Ayotte:

Ayotte ally Coos County Sheriff Brian Valerino rose to her defense. “That’s a ridiculous attack from people who are trying to distract from the issue at hand. It’s clear that we have a serious problem developing on our Northern Border with drugs and criminals flowing into our state. I’m proud to support Kelly Ayotte because we need a tough conservative Governor who will stand with law enforcement and work to secure our border.”

At a Friday press conference, New Hampshire Republicans called out state Democrats over their embrace of sanctuary cities and support for the Biden administration’s border policy. Unauthorized border crossings have soared under President Joe Biden, setting multiple single-month records as some seven million undocumented migrants have flooded across the border since he took office.

“Recently, the mayor of New York City said the illegal immigrant crisis could destroy New York City. We will not allow that to happen in New Hampshire,” said GOP state party chair Chris Ager.

State Sen. Daryl Abbas (R-Salem) addresses media at NHGOP presser as Rep. Terry Roy (R-Deerfield) looks on.

Ager listed four initiatives the state GOP plans to take on the border security issue, including supporting Gov. Chris Sununu’s request for the federal government to restore funding the Biden administration stripped from the state and his call for an ICE delegation agreement. It also calls for “the impeachment of administration officials who are failing to uphold the immigration and naturalization laws of the country and putting people at risk.”

State Sen. Daryl Abbas (R-Salem) told reporters New Hampshire is “the safest state in the country, and we want to keep it that way.

“One of the initiatives we had was Senate Bill 132, and we have a similar bill that will be filed again this year. We’re going to ban the practice of sanctuary cities. Having a universal policy that just says the police are required to ignore any type of federal retainer request, it [should be] a matter of discretion.

“We trust police to do a lot of things to keep us safe on a daily basis,” Abbas said. “There’s no reason why we wouldn’t trust them in this situation.”

Both Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington support sanctuary city policies. Ager said it was important to keep them from being elected governor.

“Joyce Craig has supported sanctuary cities, which attracts illegal activity,” Ager said. “We need to demand from her since she’s running for governor: Are you going to continue to promote those disastrous policies? If she does, she’s not fit [to serve].”

“We don’t want to turn the state into what we now call Manch-ghanistan,” Ager added.