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Tang Williams, Mansharamani Lay Out Path to Victory in NH-02 GOP Primary Debate

Republican candidates Lily Tang Williams and Vikram Mansharamani see a chance to get to Congress representing the Democrat-leaning Second Congressional District, thanks to President Joe Biden’s mishandling of the economy.

“For the first time in 12 to 14 years we have a chance to win this seat,” Mansharamani said.

Mansharamani and Tang Williams met Monday night for the NHJournal CD-02 Primary Debate at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. One other Republican, Hanover businessman William Hamlen, was invited to participate but declined.

The two Republicans kept the conversation civil, and both focused on the theme that the economy is a mess and Republicans can fix it.

“The voters are in pain. It’s economic pain, it’s pain from inflation created by the government. We have to get control of inflation,” Mansharamani said.

Biden’s disastrous economy “is stealing the American Dream from Granite Staters, and especially young people,” Tang Williams said. People cannot afford groceries, or heating fuel, or health care; young people cannot afford to rent or buy their own home; and immigrants are coming to an America that is now longer the free and prosperous nation they sought.

“I feel obligated to save the American Dream,” Tang Williams said.

Democrat Rep. Annie Kuster’s decision not to seek reelection caught most in Granite State political circles by surprise — with the possible exception of former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, who promptly announced his candidacy and was immediately endorsed by Kuster. Van Ostern is facing former Biden administration official Maggie Goodlander, wife of Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Add an open seat to the turmoil caused by Biden’s poor performance of late, and the Second Congressional District could be a GOP pick up opportunity. Mansharamani and Tang Williams hit their marks when asked about Biden and his apparent cognitive decline.

“It’s a total mess, it’s a disaster, our president is incapacitated and the world is on fire,” Mansharamani said.

Tang Williams, who talked about watching her mother die after suffering dementia, said she felt sorrow for Biden and anger at the Democrats who hid his seeming infirmities from voters.

“The Democratic machine wants to use a senile man to gain power,” she said.

They both argued Republican policies, in the wake of the economy under Biden, could draw voters across the aisle to back their candidacies.

“I don’t know any Democrats who appreciate inflation,” Mansharamani said. “Republicans have a wonderful message and it works.”

Tang Williams and her firebrand, patriotic personality were on display. During a light-hearted question asking her which superhero she would want to be, she answered “George Washington.”

“I didn’t grow up here. I admired him. He could have become king and he said no,” she said.

She stayed on message throughout the debate with her story of fleeing the repressive Communist regime in China to find freedom and opportunity in the U.S. 

“I’m on the Chinese Community Party blacklist. How more American do you want me to be?” Tang Williams said.

Entrepreneur Mansharamani is running as a business-world political outsider who can make free-market reforms, close the border, and bring fresh ideas to Washington. He also picked Superman.

“I’m an optimist. I believe we can solve these problems,” Mansharamani said.

One obstacle could be the Democrats fundraising advantage. Last week, Van Ostern announced raising $1 million, only to be trumped by Goodlander’s announcement that she’s raised $1.5 million. Asked if he would have the resources to be competitive in November, Mansharamani offered a one-word answer:


Tang Williams said she has $300,000 in cash on hand, and that her large social media following could make up any financial deficit.

“Money can buy ads, but money cannot buy votes,” she said.

Both Tang Williams and Mansharamani are relatively recent transplants to the Granite State, but that does not make them carpetbaggers, they said. Former Libertarian Tang Williams said she fell in love with New Hampshire and its state motto, “Live Free or Die.”

For Mansharamani, New Hampshire is where he found a place for his family. His special needs daughter got a place in a school in Lincoln where she was embraced and thrived. Mansharamani could see the community was home.

“We moved our life out here to make her life more possible,” he said.

Neither Tang Williams nor Mansharamani supported Donald Trump in the 2024 FITN primary (Mansharamani backed Nikki Haley, and Tang Williams declined to endorse any candidate). But both said they would support the former president.

“Nobody’s perfect, but America needs a leader now,” Tang Williams said.

Mansharamani used Trump talk to take a back-handed swing at Tang Williams, who ran for U.S. Senate in Colorado as a Libertarian Party candidate in 2016. Saying he supported Ambassador Nikki Haley in the primary, Mansharamani said he’d vote for Trump in the general election because he’s always voted Republican in every election. 

“I am a lifelong Republican; I have always voted Republican, and I will vote for the Republican nominee,” Mansharamani said.

Vandals Hit Littleton Pregnancy Center, Part of National Trend

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked in early May, there have been dozens of attacks against pregnancy clinics offering counseling and care to women considering alternatives to abortion. On Tuesday, that trend came to New Hampshire when the Pathways Pregnancy Care Center was vandalized.

According to Littleton Police Chief Paul Smith, volunteers at the center found graffiti on the side of the building reading “Fund Abortion, Abort God.” Pathways is a faith-based ministry devoted to helping pregnant women renting space from the Elevate Church.

Police in Littleton say it is too early to tell if the vandalism counts as a hate crime.  “It could be determined as the facts develop that this is a hate crime,” Smith said.

Shannon McGinley of Cornerstone Action, however, says there is no doubt. “This is a hate crime.”

The FBI is investigating more than 40 violent attacks on pregnancy centers and churches in the wake of the Supreme Court leak. Some centers have been firebombed, and others have had significant damage from vandalism. The Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade and sent the authority to regulate abortion back to the states.

Smith said his investigators are working on the case, and they have already contacted the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office about the possibility this could end up charged as a hate crime.

Michael Garrity, director of communications at the New Hampshire Department of Justice, said the state Attorney General’s Office is watching for Littleton’s results.

“At this point, our office is aware of an incident at the center. The Littleton Police Department alerted our Civil Rights Unit, flagging the incident as one of concern,” Garrity said. “We are now closely monitoring an active, ongoing investigation being carried out by Littleton Police investigators. Our Civil Rights Unit will ultimately look at how the facts and circumstances of the case develop.”

Under New Hampshire law, a person who commits a crime “motivated … because of hostility towards the victim’s religion, race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin or sex,” could face enhanced penalties. Smith said the alleged crime might be charged as misdemeanor criminal mischief if there is no hate crime component found during the investigation. Misdemeanors rarely result in jail time.

Pathways offers free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, parenting classes, baby supplies, as well as help with getting social assistance, among other services.

“There are three times as many Pregnancy Care Centers (PCC) in New Hampshire as there are abortion facilities. We are even blessed with two maternity homes,” McGinley said. “Every client is treated with compassion and respect – regardless of the decision they choose for their pregnancy. Empowering women to make informed decisions is a top priority,” McGinley said.

Pro-abortion activists, however, have attacked these facilities for years, raising their profile as a possible target. An abortion extremist group, Jane’s Revenge, has taken credit for some of the recent attacks, including smashing the doors and windows of a Michigan clinic.

Their message: “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you.”

Last week, Kayla Montgomery, vice president of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, took to the airwaves to attack the facilities in New Hampshire.

“I want to be clear; crisis pregnancy centers are not based in science or in medicine,” Montgomery told WMUR. “If people need care, they should call their local Planned Parenthood of New Hampshire abortion provider who will provide honest, compassionate, non-judgmental care and explain the full range of options.”

Montgomery did not respond to a request for comment about the vandalism in Littleton.

And Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) has also been critical of these facilities in the past, accusing them of offering “fake health” in order to trick women into keeping their babies.

“In New Hampshire – and at more than 2,700 locations across our nation – women are walking into fake women’s health centers, misleadingly called ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ believing that they are receiving medically sound, neutral advice about pregnancy. But these centers really exist to serve one purpose: preventing women from accessing abortion,” Hassan wrote in 2018.

Hassan, who has kept a steady stream of public comments about abortion rights over the past two months, has been silent on both the spike in attacks on pregnancy centers and the threats targeting Supreme Court justices — including a failed assassination — since the Alito opinion leaked.

McGinley says there is a clear double standard.

“These kinds of attacks underscore the cynical nature of arguments that pro-life people do not offer enough material assistance to women in need. When abortion advocates—from arsonist groups to Elizabeth Warren—threaten pregnancy care centers, they are saying that assistance to women is immoral unless it specifically promotes abortion,” McGinley said. “Their goal is not helping the vulnerable. Their goal is to spread abortion like a religion—and they don’t care if that means taking services away from women in need.”

Executive Director of Pathways Pregnancy Care Center Angel Marshall said their mission will continue.

Pathways will not allow a hate crime to hinder the much-needed support we provide.  This has not and will not deter us from serving our community,” Marshall said. “Empowering men, women, and teens to make informed decisions is a top priority. I am working closely with the Littleton Police Department in this investigation. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the center’s staff, volunteers, and clients.”

Smith said the volunteers at Pathways are responding to the vandalism by organizing more help to provide security at the center. He’s asking anyone with information to contact Littleton Police at 603 444 7711.

Candidates Spar at First NHGOP Senate Debate

GOFFSTOWN — The five Republican candidates competing to take on Sen. Maggie Hassan in the fall burnished their conservative bona fides during Monday night’s debate hosted by New Hampshire Journal.

Retired Gen. Don Bolduc, bitcoin businessman Bruce Fenton, entrepreneur Vikram Mansharamani, State Sen. President Chuck Morse and former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith mostly stuck to criticizing what they say are Hassan and President Joe Biden’s failed policies, though Fenton and Smith did go on the attack at times against the other Republicans.

Smith targeted Bolduc several times during the debate, questioning his temperament and attacking his past statements on the war in Ukraine. Smith referenced a March 2022 Fox News interview in which Bolduc appeared to urge the CIA or military to “get in there on the ground” in Ukraine, using “indirect fires and direct capabilities” to attack Russian targets. At one point, he said the U.S. could use “special operations troops in a way that we get in there,” though without “boots on the ground.”

“These are Democrat tactics, attacking Republicans like this,” Bolduc said in response to Smith’s attack. “Yeah, I have in the past, and I acknowledged that and said hey, like anybody else you regret some of the things you say. That’s being honest, that’s being truthful. This up here is political theater because he polls at two points.”

Fenton repeatedly attacked Morse for what he said was a lack of leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for being a “deal maker” and a rubber stamp for the Republican Party. Morse did not respond to any of the attacks launched throughout the debate. Immediately after the debate ended, his team declared victory.

“The difference between me and them is I’ve actually done it,” Morse said in a statement.

Morse touted the fiscally conservative budgets passed during his time in the State House, and his socially conservative achievements like getting Education Freedom Accounts passed and a 24-week abortion ban made into law.

The candidates largely agreed on the issues; they want energy independence, lower taxes, stronger border enforcement, and they are opposed to abortion and gun control. All five said they would not support a federal abortion ban imposed by Washington, D.C.

Where they differ is in their emphasis on the issues.

Fenton, for example, says he can bring along Free State libertarians and independents as part of his coalition. He repeatedly hit the COVID-19 pandemic response as an example of the tyranny he is fighting.

“A senator doesn’t have that much power, but what you can do is disrupt and I’m a disrupter. I’ve been a disrupter my whole career. And this is what we need now. We need a disrupter desperately because of what have going on in our country,” he said. “If I had sat on this stage four years ago years ago and told you that a scientist was going to be able to shut down millions of businesses and put people out of their jobs and people were going to be forced to wear a mask, you’d have thought I was insane.”

Smith made the case for himself as the most electable conservative with experience going back to his time as a 19-year-old state representative, and his years leading the town of Londonderry.

“We’re going to need the strongest, most electable conservative candidate as our nominee in order to win this race. And I believe I am that person,” Smith said. “The reality is we’re going to need the Glenn Younkin model for our nominee to win this race. I’ve said all along we’re going to need not just conservative Republicans, we’re going to need Trump Independents and we’re going to need Regan Democrats as well.”

Mansharamani, a newcomer to politics, told voters he would bring an independent, results-oriented view to the job

“The first thing to know about Maggie Hassan is she is a party-line voter. She doesn’t think for herself. Where I’ve written a book called ‘Think For Yourself,'” Mansharamani said.

The debate, sponsored by N.H. Journal, was held at the Saint Anselm College New Hampshire Institute of Politics auditorium. It was aired on Manchester Public T.V. Channel 16 and streamed online. N.H. Journal Managing Editor Michael Graham led the panel that included longtime New Hampshire GOP strategist and media personality Alicia Preston Xanthopoulos and Washington Times Capitol Hill reporter Haris Alic.

It was the first debate of the primaries for the race, but Smith started calling for four more debates before the event began. Mansharamani topped that, calling for 10 GOP candidate debates.