Volinsky tells NH1 News he'll give 'serious consideration' to possibly running for governor
MANCHESTER –Andru Volinsky says he’s ‘flattered that people are thinking about me for the Corner Office.”
And in an interview with NH1 News, the first-term Democratic Executive Councilor said he’ll give “serious consideration” to launching a bid for governor, but he added that that it’s way too early to “make a decision” on whether to run.
Volinsky said that he’s been “hearing a fair amount of” encouragement from Democratic activists urging him to run for their party’s gubernatorial nomination next year. The eventual nominee will challenge Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.
“It’s my responsibility to be out and about in my district, listening to constituents, and more broadly, around the state. I am one of the more progressive people on the Council and people want to talk to me. I’m flattered that people are thinking about me for the Corner Office,” Volinsky explained.
He went on to say that “I’ve heard enough so that I’m going to give it serious consideration over the course of the summer and maybe into September. And during that time I’ll make a careful decision whether to go forward in seeking re-election or moving over to the governor’s seat.”
But Volinsky added that “quite frankly I think it’s silly at this juncture to make a decision to run for governor.”
That may be a veiled jab at former Portsmouth mayor and 2016 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand, who announced back in March that he was launching another campaign for governor.
Asked by NH1 News what factors would weigh on his decision, Volinsky answered that “it’s really early to be spelling out factors.”
But he added “I will say this: We have a particular kind of weak governorship where you really depend on having allies in the House and the Senate and on the Executive Council. And so if I’m to do this, I’d look to see who else is coming in with me so that we could accomplish some effective changes. I think that’s an important consideration.”
If he does run for governor, Volinsky would most likely win the backing of many of the legions of Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters in New Hampshire. Volinsky was a member of the Sanders presidential campaign’s steering committee in the Granite State and served as a pledged delegate for the Vermont senator at last summer’s Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.
Volinsky: ‘It’s been an interesting few months’
Volinsky, who as a 30-year old successfully argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, was for years best known in the Granite State as the lead attorney for the victorious plaintiff school districts in the historic Claremont school district funding lawsuit two decades ago. Last year he represented Dover in that city’s lawsuit against New Hampshire over the state’s cap on adequacy money to school districts.
Last year the Concord resident and general counsel at the Bernstein Shur law firm in Manchester won election to the Council’s second district seat, succeeding fellow Democrat Colin Van Ostern, who lost to Sununu in the gubernatorial contest. While Volinsky had long been a Democratic Party activist, the run for the Council was his first campaign for elective office.
Volinsky quickly grabbed the spotlight on the Council, with his fierce challenge of Frank Edelblut, during the former GOP gubernatorial candidate’s January confirmation hearing for state Education Commissioner. Volinsky also opposed Sununu’s nomination of interim budget director Charlie Arlinghaus as Commissioner of Administrative Services.
Asked about his time so far on the Council, Volinsky said “it is what I expected and more. I didn’t think I’d be able to use my skills and experience as a trial lawyer quite so much, but confirmation hearings have been a bigger part of this than I had expected. And being able to read contracts and loan documents hasn’t hurt me at all. It’s been an interesting few months.”