Former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is learning an unpleasant political truth the hard way:

If you run, you can’t hide.

If Craig had stuck with her job as the bumbling mayor of Manchester, blaming Gov. Chris Sununu for the crime in her streets and the homeless sleeping on her sidewalks, nobody would be asking about her views on immigration and sanctuary cities. She could “no comment” every controversy to her heart’s content and nobody would notice.

(Actually, she’d probably be the ex-mayor who lost to Republican Jay Ruais, but that’s another story…)

Instead, Craig jumped in the governor’s race. And thanks to a heartless comment from Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, Craig is now facing questions about her policy positions.

And not just New Hampshire Journal.

“N.H. governor’s race rocked by Healey comments over alleged migrant child rape” is the Boston Herald headline. 

The Herald report is about the same immigration scandal NHJournal has been covering: A Haitian refugee, flown to the U.S. under a Biden administration parole program that flies in 30,000 migrants every month. That migrant is now under arrest for the rape of a 15-year-old handicapped girl in a state-run migrant shelter in Rockland, Mass.

When asked if future acts of violence could be prevented with more stringent vetting, Healey told a Boston TV station, “It is unfortunate, from time to time, things will happen.”

Healey’s “Rape Happens” response would be cringe-inducing even if there hadn’t been a previous case of an illegal immigrant raping a handicapped Massachusetts girl in January. Or there wasn’t an ongoing surge of crime at Massachusetts migrant shelters across the state.

But there is.

And given that Healey has endorsed Craig for governor it’s no surprise reporters would ask for her take on the Massachusetts governor’s insensitive remarks about a victim of sexual assault.

Craig’s answer? None. She simply refused to comment on the story.

Not so Republican Kelly Ayotte, who’s also running for New Hampshire governor. She said, “Healey should be ashamed of herself” and called on Craig to “denounce Healey’s endorsement, and once and for all condemn sanctuary policies.”

The Boston Herald asked Craig for a response. Again — no comment.

“Joyce Craig is hiding from questions today just like she has all campaign,” Ayotte told NHJournal Monday after the Herald story appeared. “Under Maura Healey’s watch, Massachusetts has been overrun by illegal immigrants, and Joyce Craig would bring those same sanctuary policies to New Hampshire.

“I won’t let Joyce MASS up New Hampshire, and I’ll never let them make our home a sanctuary state.”

Is Ayotte right? Does Craig still support sanctuary city policies she defended in the past? She’s been repeatedly asked and refuses to answer — even when she’s pretending to.

Remember this exchange with WMUR’s Adam Sexton?

SEXTON: Under a Governor. Craig, would this be a sanctuary state?

CRAIG: So again, Adam, we need to work with our federal government. And just last week there was a bill proposed to protect our borders, to provide funding for staff to protect our borders, to ensure that fentanyl is not coming into our country, and to provide a pathway for those seeking asylum. And I would work with our federal delegation to ensure that a proposal like that would pass.

That’s 69 words to say “No comment.”

As the Massachusetts state Senate considers $825 million in taxpayer spending to cover the costs of housing migrants, it’s hardly a stretch to ask New Hampshire Democrats like Craig and Cinde Warmington if they embrace the same policies.

And given that they almost certainly do, it’s hardly a surprise that neither Craig nor Warmington are willing to answer the question.

Some Democrats say, why should they? It won’t help them with the base of their party, and that’s who will vote in September’s primary. And once the primary’s over, we’ll be hot and heavy at the height of the general election, where Trump will do all the Democrats’ work for them, driving New Hampshire voters away from the GOP.

And they could be right. Or, Biden could continue to struggle, Trump could hold onto the Republican base and pick up working class voters who’ve abandoned the Democratic party. A weak Biden vs. a strong Trump could make every race in the state competitive. It might even get voters to think about which candidate for governor cares about the issues they care about.

Like borders and illegal immigration.

The immediate question is whether, as immigration continues to dominate the news cycles and the list of voters concerns, Craig can get away with simply playing dumb?

Then again, watching how she’s handled her campaign this far, she may not just be playing.