By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – Gov. Chris Sununu invited the State House press corps into his office this week offering the chance to ask whatever questions were on their minds.
It was a day after Sununu announced his plans to seek a third term as governor. The other reporters included Dave Solomon of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Andy Hershberger of WMUR, Josh Rogers of New Hampshire Public Radio and Holly Ramer of the Associated Press.
InDepthNH.org asked Sununu about his decision to seek re-election rather than challenge U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for her seat in the Senate as some had speculated he might do.
The Republican said he “absolutely loves the job” as governor.
Being one of 100 in the U.S. Senate does not appeal to him anyway, he said. Sununu said he does not know what they do down there, but it doesn’t seem like much.
“I like to get stuff done and I like to interact,” he said.
The governor also spoke about the “extremism” of some legislation being offered by the Democrat-led House and Senate as the budget process moves forward with the Senate. He includes in that description most bills that would increase taxes.
Sununu added that he can work well with Democratic Senate President Donna Soucy and Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, as he has been, to come up with a biennial budget this spring that will work for the state. He cautioned he would not want to take one-time surplus monies to use for long-term commitments.
But like a puzzle, all the pieces need to be on the table to come up with a balanced budget.
While he did not vote, Sununu also said that the Executive Council made the right decision to not offer a hearing to Pam Smart, which might have led to a sentence reduction from life in prison. She has served 29 years for orchestrating the death of her husband, Gregg Smart, something she denies doing.