By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – It was a busy day in the Secretary of State’s office as Democrats former Vice President Joe Biden and Andrew Yang both filed their intent to be on the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot.
Lesser known candidate Stephen Conley Sr., a Republican, also signed on.
The hallways of the second floor of the State House filled with hundreds of supporters waiting for Biden and he also spoke on the State House lawn.
“The character of our nation is on the ballot,” Biden said. “It’s about who we are as a country.”
He said eight years of Trump running the country would fundamentally change the nation. “That is why I am running,” Biden said.
Biden said he wants to take on the NRA referencing school children having to endure live fire drills as if an active shooter was present.
“What is wrong with us? We don’t have the courage to take on the NRA? I’ve taken them on twice and beaten them twice,” Biden said.
State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, who supports Biden, embraced Dr. Jill Biden and hugged former Gov. John Lynch who escorted the Bidens down the hallway to the Secretary of State’s office.
But at the staircase, Biden spotted the young Flanagan family of Bow, bent down and shook the hands of the two young children.
“This is something they will remember,” said Ian Flanagan.
Democrat Andrew Yang, the son of Taiwan immigrants, who was born in Schenectady, N.Y., said coming back to New Hampshire feels like a homecoming. He went to high school here, graduating in 1992 from Phillips Exeter Academy.
New Hampshire is going to set the future of the country, he predicted, and it’s going to help present a new way forward to the rest of America next February.
“I am thrilled to be here to make this official,” Yang said.
Yang predicted his campaign would do extremely well in New Hampshire and surprise the pundits.
Yang has proposed a “Freedom Dividend,” a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for everyone over the age of 18, and it would be illegal to lend or borrow against it.
Yang said it would grow the economy by up to 13 percent by 2025. He also supports the idea of 16-year-olds being able to vote, arguing that it would energize high school students into civic engagement and make more people consistent voters in the years going forward.
Also filing Friday was Stephen Conley Sr. of Rowley, Mass. Conley, a Republican, is an outspoken opponent of the Seabrook nuclear power plant.
He asked why it seems that President Trump doesn’t want him to be the nominee.