The race for the corner office in Concord, New Hampshire, just got a bit more interesting.
Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes has become the first Democrat to announce a run for governor, hoping to challenge two-term Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.
“Each and every day I will put working families first,” Feltes told NBC10 Boston just hours after launching a four-minute long campaign video online.
Feltes says his upbringing in a working-class family makes him a better fit to run the state than Sununu.
“Governor Sununu is a nice guy, but I don’t think he knows what working families are going through,” Feltes said. “I do, I lived it.”
Feltes may be the first Democrat to officially throw his hat in the ring for the 2020 gubernatorial race – but he certainly won’t be the last.
“There are at least a few others who are democrats who will primary challenge him,” political analyst Scott Spradling said.
Democratic Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky also is exploring a run for governor.
Spradling says Feltes is a rising star in the New Hampshire Democratic Party, but Sununu is already established as one of the most popular governors in the country.
“These are two potential rock-star candidates, a ‘Clash of the Titans’ if you will, that would be going against each other,” Spradling said.
Feltes kicked off his campaign at an interesting time.
Spradling notes that as the Senate Majority Leader, Feltes and Sununu are still clashing on a past-due state budget and still negotiating behind closed doors.
“These two have to figure out a compromise at the exact same time that Dan is saying, ‘I want your job,’” Spradling explained. “I’d like to be a fly on the wall for those conversations.”
NBC10 Boston couldn’t reach Sununu for comment on the Feltes’s announcement, but the New Hampshire Republican State Committee issued a statement saying that Feltes has been “dishonest” about his true agenda, writing in part, “Feltes, in this session alone, sponsored over a quarter of a billion dollars in new spending, all while championing an income tax on the back of Granite State workers.”
But on Tuesday, Feltes made a promise about something that’s extremely important to the people of New Hampshire.
“Let me be clear, I do not support a broad-base income or sales tax and I would veto one if it came to my desk as governor,” Feltes said.
So, it’s not a given that Feltes faces Sununu next fall. He’ll have to convince fellow democrats that he’s the best pick for the party in the primaries.