Messmer Pushes Clean Water, Environmental Concerns in 1st District Run
State Rep. Mindi Messmer on Tuesday became the sixth Democrat to officially launch a campaign for the open seat in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.
“I bring a proven track record of being able to get legislation passed in the Statehouse that’s helped citizens of New Hampshire,” Messmer told NH1 News hours before she formally kicked off her congressional bid at an event in Portsmouth.
Messmer, a Rye resident, was elected last year to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. She’s an environmental scientist who since 1999 has owned and operated the consulting company Terra Nova Environmental.
Messmer said she “blew the whistle” on what was later designated the Seacoast Cancer Cluster and she became a member of the Governor’s Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster investigation, which was set up in 2016 by then-Gov. Maggie Hassan.
She highlighted her role as a freshman state representative in having several pieces of sponsored legislation on public health and the environment passed into law.
In her official statement, Messmer said she is running “to ensure clean drinking water for all Americans, to take precautions to mitigate the environmental causes of cancer, and to stand up to industry-backed attacks on science by federal agencies like the EPA.”
Messmer hopes to succeed four-term Democrat Carol Shea-Porter. The congresswoman from Rochester announced last month that she would not run for re-election in 2018.
She praised Shea-Porter for her model "as a progressive woman fighting for the rights of citizens of New Hampshire” and hopes to carry on that legacy.
Messmer touted her "union member background" saying fighting for workers’ rights “is in my fiber.”
"I’m a third generation union member," she said. "My mother was a fighter for workers’ rights. She was a union organizer for SEIU 1199 in New York City.”
She also said the “minimum wage in New Hampshire and across the country are way too low” and that she will “push for high quality health care for all Americans.”
Messmer said nearly daily media reports regarding abusive treatment of women have her extremely concerned.
“We are seeing women under attack,” she said.
Last week three-term Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, of Manchester, the biggest name to date, launched his campaign for Congress.
Also running for the Democratic nomination are state Rep. Mark MacKenzie, of Manchester, who was president of the state’s AFL-CIO for over two decades, Iraq War veteran and former Obama Pentagon official Maura Sullivan, of Portsmouth, former Strafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati, and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke. Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard is also seriously considering a bid.
State Sen. Andy Sanborn, of Bedford, and former state law enforcement official Eddie Edwards are the two Republican candidates who have launched campaigns. Former New Hampshire Republican Party vice chairman Matt Mayberry is also likely to announce a bid in the near future.
The 1st District, which covers much of southeastern New Hampshire, the Lakes Region, and up to North Conway, is one of the most high-profile and closely watched swing congressional districts in the country. And it’s ping-ponged between Shea-Porter and former GOP Congressman Frank Guinta the past four elections.