The 2010 Battleground: New Hampshire’s 1st District by Gregory Hilton

One of the major battlegrounds in the 2010 campaign will be New Hampshire’s first congressional district where Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta is the GOP challenger against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH). Despite numerous public demands the incumbent has refused to hold town hall meetings during the August recess. She was a vocal anti-war activist before winning her seat in 2006, and essentially hounded then-Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) at his town hall meetings in the years leading up to their race.
Shea-Porter was once forcibly removed from a Bush speech in Portsmouth for aggressive protesting while wearing a shirt that read, “Turn your back on Bush.” She always said the surge would fail, and once protested in front of the State House in Concord alongside demonstrators who compared Bush to a Nazi. She attended more of her opponents town hall meetings as a candidate than she has held during four years in Congress.
Mayor Guinta is now holding the Health Care Town Hall meeting that the incumbent has refused. Fox News placed her photo on a milk carton to dramatize the fact that she is not meeting with her constituents at public gatherings during the recess. She did find time this month to visit Pittsburgh, PA for the Daily Kos/Netroots Nation convention of liberal bloggers. She told them her constituents “would love to wait in line for medical care.” Shea-Porter has a 38% favorable, and a 37% unfavorable rating. She is vulnerable. Guinta, 38, has served two terms as Mayor and has won in the most Democratic part of the District.

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