Democrat Colin Van Ostern Announces Bid To Replace Kuster in Congress District 2

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Colin Van Ostern


CONCORD – Wasting no time after Congresswoman Annie Kuster announced she would not seek a seventh term Wednesday, Colin Van Ostern threw his hat in the ring Thursday as a Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional District.

The district includes Nashua, Concord and much of the western half of the state and all of the North Country.

“I’m excited to announce that I’m running for Congress here in New Hampshire,” Van Ostern said on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s time to fix what’s broken in our country today and the way to do it is to make our government work for everyday people and middle class families again.”

Van Ostern served on the Executive Council from 2013 to 2017 in District 2 and ran unsuccessfully for both governor in 2016 and Secretary of State in 2018. He narrowly lost to Chris Sununu in the gubernatorial race 47 to 49 percent and lost to incumbent William Gardner for the Secretary of State post.

The 45-year-old Concord man announced his plan online and said that to fix what is broken in Washington requires “putting people first.”

In the past, he served as a senior advisor to various elected officials including U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Kuster.

He said his priorities, if elected, would include a national law to protect women’s rights including right to abortion and in vitro fertilization, and to work to cut household costs.

As Executive Councilor he said he worked to support contracts for reproductive health centers, expand Medicaid and on resolving labor issues.

“There are real challenges we face as a country – from unleashing the spark of innovation to create good-paying jobs; to protecting Social Security and Medicare; to fixing the corruption in Washington; to affordable housing, and climate change, and living up to our promises to our veterans; to finally getting bipartisan immigration reform done that strengthens our borders and heals our communities; and to protecting democracy against authoritarianism and terrorism at home and overseas,” he wrote.

Van Ostern is the first Democrat to indicate plans to run for the Congressional seat held by Kuster for the past 12 years. 

Republican Lily Tang Williams has also filed to run for the seat and did so before Kuster announced her plans to not seek reelection.

Kuster’s plans are to finish up her term this year and focus on national efforts to defeat former Republican President Donald Trump.

Born in Carlsbad, Calif., Van Ostern moved around as a young child and came to New Hampshire in 2001 in his early 20s.

He attended George Washington University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2000 in International Relations and received a master’s degree in business from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

He and his wife Kristyn have two sons aged 10 and 13.

He formerly served as the president and chief operating officer of Alumni Ventures, a venture capital firm headquartered in Manchester and also previously worked as vice president of Workforce Solutions at Southern New Hampshire University. 

He previously helped SNHU launch its College for America and also previously was a business manager at Stonyfield, Inc., an organic yogurt maker based in New Hampshire.

In 2004, he founded a business-consulting firm called Washington Street Consulting.

In a text message sent to Democrats across the state at 2:12 p.m., Van Ostern, with a photo wearing a plaid shirt, appealed for financial help with his campaign.

“Instead of letting extremists & powerful interests wreck our democracy more, we need to fix what matters to people. Like protecting reproductive rights (from IVF to abortion) and cutting household costs like housing, higher ed & healthcare.” 

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