New Hampshire's Long-Serving and Very Powerful Secretary of State Is About to Be Booted Because of the Trump Effect

New Hampshire has a very odd form of government. It elects its governor every two years. And voters in New Hampshire, who are often plain ordinary, don’t like to pay taxes. So in New Hampshire, any candidate for public office who fails to “take the pledge” never to raise taxes, is doomed, whether a Democrat or a Republican (of course, it is an article of faith among Republicans, who don’t like government anyway, that they hate taxes, especially for the wealthy). 


New Hampshire’s license plate for automobiles loudly and obnoxiously proclaims “Live Free or Die."


The worst thing about New Hampshire politics is the notorious First in the Nation presidential primary. A small state which speciaizes in winter, with only two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, requires by law that no other state can hold a presidential primary before New Hampshire’s. And the media coverage of presidential candidates traipsing through the snow because New Hampshire voters insist on seeing presidential candidates up close and personal, is, essentially, revolting, and not just because New Hampshire is notably unrepresentative of the U.S. population, with 94% of Granite State residents being white. And this is a state that, through its Presidential Primary (there’s even a museum that celebrates it, in Concord) often pre-determines who the next president of the United States of America will be.


New Hampshire’s Secretary of State is given the sole authority to determiine the date of the First in the Nation Presidential Primary.


The Secretary of State in New Hampshire is elected every two years by the legislature. The State House of Representataives has 400

members — one State Representive for every 3,300 members; there are 24 State Senators. And what is the pay for both State Representatives and State Senators? $200 plus mileage. Is that any way to run a government?


Bill Gardner, 70, has been the Granite State’s Secretary of State since 1976. He has supported legislation tightening voter residency requirements — something dear to the hearts of Republican strategists.


And now, Gardner’s got a problem. He cooperated with Donald Trump’s phony voter integrity commission, which was disbanded because it was such a bad idea. And more seriously, the Dems how hold both the State House and the State Senate, which means they can oust Gardner if they want; and they have a candidate: Democrat Colin Van Ostern (


Associate solitary reporter Dave Morse, a longtime resident of Carroll County, one of the state’s northernmost counties, assures us that Gardner will be retired. That will happen on December 5 when the legislature votes.