Republican Senate President Jeb Bradley Won’t Seek Re-Election

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Paula Tracy photo

State Senate President Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, is pictured in the Senate chambers Thursday.


CONCORD – Senate President Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro and former U.S. Representative, announced he is retiring and will not run for re-election.

The 71-year-old representative of District 3, who has served in one capacity or the other at the State House and the nation’s capital since 1990 had his wife, Karen McNiff in the chambers when he made the announcement at the end of the session Thursday.

“There are times that you come to a crossroads and I am at one of those times and I am not going to seek reelection. It is a bit bittersweet,” Bradley said.

He said he has had the ability to serve in an “absolutely beautiful room”  “and I can tell you that there is no nicer place to do the people’s business than right here in this room. There are a lot of reasons for that.”

Bradley noted it was much different in Congress when he served the state’s first Congressional District and it has only gotten worse since then.

He said he hoped that the state Senate will always be just “glorified volunteers with fancy shmancy license plates…don’t ever change that.”

“It has been an honor, Bradley said.

Gov. Chris Sununu congratulated Bradley.

“Senator Jeb Bradley’s career has been marked by his service to New Hampshire. Always engaged, always involved – Senator Bradley has been there time and time again to find consensus, get the job done, and deliver results for Granite State families. We wish him the best!” Sununu said.

Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, thanked Bradley.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Senate President Jeb Bradley since 1990, when we first served in the New Hampshire House together. In our first years as legislators, I saw Senator Bradley become an expert in the area of energy policy and witnessed his dedication to serving the people of his district and our State. 

“From his time as the Chair of the House Science and Technology to his time as the Senate President, I have always known Senator Bradley to sincerely dedicate himself to finding bipartisan solutions, especially on the most challenging issues. You can always count on Senator Bradley to work to find a ‘Bradley Special’, and to challenge us all to do the same,” Soucy said.

This leaves residents of many communities in Carroll, Grafton and Sullivan counties to find a new Senator.

A former street performer, avid life-long hiker and owner of a natural food store, Bradley took the gavel from former Senate President Chuck Morse on Dec. 7, 2022, and has been considered a shepherd of Republican legislation and confidant and supporter of Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican who is also not running for re-election. Morse stepped down first to run, unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate and is now a Republican candidate for governor.

Bradley was a member of Congress from 2003 to Jan. 3, 2007.

He was a registered Democrat until 1989, when he switched to the Republican party and won a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives in November 1990.

Joseph Edmund “Jeb” Bradley III was born in Rumford, Maine.

He currently represents his hometown of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and 16 other towns in District 3. 

He was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1990 to 2002, before going to Washington to serve New Hampshire in the first Congressional district.

He was Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate from 2010 to 2018 and again from 2020 to 2022.

Bradley is a graduate of Tufts University and lived in Switzerland and worked as a street magician, returning in 1981 to New Hampshire.

He and his late, former wife Barbara operated a natural foods store in Wolfeboro and he also ran a painting business, and managed real estate.

He began his public service when he was elected to the Wolfeboro Planning Board in 1986.

Bradley was considered a moderate in the Republican Party both in Washington and Concord.

In the nation’s capital, he supported the war in Iraq and visited three times.

He also supported a subsidy for the Chinese nuclear program while in Congress and supported the Medicare Part D prescription drug subsidy.

In Concord, he has kept his Republican majority in the Senate of 14 together for many votes which can be considered partisan.

He lost his seat in 2006 to Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, a year when Democrats swept the state legislature and both U.S. House seats.

He returned to New Hampshire to serve in the state Senate when he won a special election over Willard “Bud” Martin in 2008.

Bradley and his former, late wife Barbara have four children: Jan, Ramona, Urs and Sebastian. 

He is known for his love of hiking.

Bradley has climbed all of New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-foot peaks and is a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Four Thousand Footer Club.

He has also completed the New Hampshire “GRID” by hiking every 4,000-foot peak in every month of the year.

Currently there are no candidates for the District 3 Senate seat which is comprised of Albany, Bartlett, Brookfield, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Effingham, Freedom, Hart’s Location, Hale’s Location, Jackson, Madison, Moultonborough, Ossipee, Sandwich, Tamworth, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, Wolfeboro, Waterville Valley, Middleton and Milton.

His term ends at the end of this year.

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