In her new TV ad, Democrat Joyce Craig makes a pitch for the governor’s job by touting the “thousands of housing units” she delivered while mayor of Manchester.

With polls showing housing one of the hottest issues for Granite State voters, it’s a smart policy to promote.



Not so smart, perhaps, was the campaign’s choice of visuals in the ad when Craig makes her housing pitch: Images from the Marcy Street neighborhood near the waterfront — in Portsmouth.

In fact, there are no identifiable images from the Queen City in Craig’s latest ad.

And despite the six years she spent as the city’s mayor, the name “Manchester” isn’t mentioned a single time in either of the campaign TV ads she’s released thus far.

The Republicans running for governor were quick to point out the problem.

“California Craig is so desperate to distract from her record as mayor that her ad doesn’t even mention Manchester and tries to cover it up with photos of the Seacoast. Granite Staters aren’t fooled by her efforts to rewrite her abysmal record,” said Kelly Ayotte’s campaign spokesman, John Corbett.

And Chuck Morse’s campaign manager Maya Harvey quipped, “Thanks to Craig’s record as mayor, the word ‘Manchester’ is now a forbidden phrase for her campaign. Like ‘Lord Voldemort.’ Or ‘Joe Biden.’”


Granite State Republicans have long argued that Craig’s record in Manchester makes her the weakest Democrat in the race. “Voters don’t want a governor who’ll turn New Hampshire into Manchester,” House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) said when Craig entered the race.

And now it appears Craig’s campaign agrees.

“Mayor Craig’s decision to avoid any discussion of her record in Manchester is both necessary and smart,” said Patrick Hynes, a GOP communications pro and Union Leader columnist. “Her tenure as Mayor was a failure and it defines her as a ‘local’ candidate.

“She needs to project herself as a statewide leader with a vision. That’s why she campaigns with brand-name progressive governors like Maura Healey and Gavin Newsom,” Hynes said.

Craig isn’t the first Manchester Democrat to fail the authenticity test in her campaign ads. During the 2022 First Congressional District campaign, U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (D) ran TV ads featuring a blue-collar worker at a grease-stained auto repair shop. That “worker” turned out to be white-collar attorney and former Democratic staffer Alan Raff.

Pappas followed up with an ad allegedly featuring a family at their kitchen table “here in New Hampshire” who were, in fact, sitting in Moscow, not Manchester.