Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s former chief of staff announced Wednesday she will run to replace the retiring congresswoman in New Hampshire’s 1st District.
Naomi Andrews, who has worked for Shea-Porter for more than a decade and managed two of her past campaigns, became the ninth Democrat to join the September 11 primary ballot, touting her middle-class background and experience working with Shea-Porter.
“I believe the people of New Hampshire will still want someone in Congress who is from the middle class, knows what it’s like, and will work every day for them and their families,” Andrews said in her announcement video, noting she is a first-generation college graduate with parents who worked in the restaurant and custodian industries.
Andrews did not distance herself from her former boss, Shea-Porter, who lost her seat twice to Republican Frank Guinta in 2010 and 2014 before reclaiming it in the following elections.
“I have worked for Carol for more than a decade, and I share her love for people and her determination to fight for the rest of us,” Andrews said. “As her chief of staff, I worked each day on all of the national and state issues and the challenges that impact our lives in New Hampshire, including the opioid crisis, and I can hit the ground running on day one to serve our citizens.”
New Hampshire’s 1st District is one of only 12 Democratic-controlled districts that President Donald Trump carried in 2016, making it one of the NRCC’s top targets to flip this November.
Trump edged Hillary Clinton by 2 points in the district while Shea-Porter held onto her seat by 1 point in her fifth straight face-off against Guinta.
Andrews is entering a crowded Democratic primary with two deep-pocketed candidates: Iraq War veteran and former Pentagon official Maura Sullivan, who had nearly $700,000 cash on hand at the end of the first filing quarter, and Manchester Executive Council Chris Pappas, who sat on $340,000 through the same time period, per the Federal Elections Commission database.
But with a late primary date in September, she has time to make up ground on the fundraising front, especially if Shea-Porter transfers a portion of her $111,000 war chest to kick-start Andrews’ campaign.
On the GOP side, conservative state Sen. Andy Sanborn and Eddie Edwards, a former chief of the New Hampshire state division of liquor enforcement, are locked in a tight primary race.
Sanborn loaned his campaign $250,000 in the first quarter of 2018 and had nearly double that amount in cash on hand at the end of the quarter.
Edwards reported $160,000 in cash on hand.