New Hampshire 1st Congressional District Challenge for 2018

Status Update
The candidates are currently filming and submitting their initial responses.

EzDebate is challenging each candidate to answer questions for their constituents. We will be posting the recorded answers so voters can view them.

The following questions were submitted to the candidates:

  • What is your stance on gun control and the 2nd amendment?
  • What is your stance on immigration?
  • Are our trade policies with other nations good for our country or should they be revised?
  • Why are health care costs rising and what can be done about it?
  • Other than the issues already discussed, what is the greatest threat facing our nation today and how will you address it?
  • Other than the issues already discussed, what is the most important issue facing the state of New Hampshire and how will you address it?

William Martin (Democrat)
Participation Confirmed

William Martin is a lifelong New Hampshire citizen, a nonprofit accountant, and a former boy scout. As such he has a long history of serving those in need and understands the nuances of how to create long term change instead of symbolic action. He understands that every day people sometimes need to speak up and take visible action, instead of allowing those in power to maintain status quo while putting on a new coat of paint. Once, we had the expression “here comes the new boss, same as the old boss,” and as a citizen who has never held public office, William Martin could not be more separate from repeating the sins of the past. “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

He is a proud gamer, which translates into a passion and experience with some of the most important skills needed in Congress: How to succeed with minimal resources, how to build coalitions of the unlikely to accomplish the seemingly impossible, as well as how to work well with others, no matter how different their views are. He has become familiar with how to play by a new set of rules on short notice and without missing a beat, as well as How to make change the rulebook or throw it out and replace it when necessary. He is well versed in how to win gracefully, to lose without grudge, and that someone who works against you one day, may the next be willing to be your ally.

William has always held an unwavering commitment to aiding those in need and attempts to create a level playing field for every citizen regardless of their class, race, gender, sexuality, or disability. His tenacity and compassion are strengths that he wishes to bring to Washington to aid the people of New Hampshire and the United States. He is liberal, in that he values maximizing everyone’s freedom by removing systemic barriers. He is progressive, in that he understands we must always change and adapt for the future, even as we learn from the past. He knows that leadership isn’t about being in charge, but is instead about a willingness to go first, “to take the lead” with all the risks it entails.

Congress needs to regain integrity, and it needs to be taken back by those who care about the citizens of the country more than the corporations. It needs to be filled with individuals who act to serve the human needs of the nation, and not cater to the greed of those who can donate the most. To this end, William refuses to accept any donations during the primary process, a stricter standard than any other candidate. He also refuses to consider accepting money from any source after the primary except the voters of the First Congressional District. William Martin also understands Congress is about services, in that elections are truly a drawn-out interview for a two-year contract to serve the people of New Hampshire, and that while prior experience in the job is very popular, a willingness to approach it from a new angle might serve the State even better.

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Terence O'Rourke (Democrat)
Participation Confirmed

Terence O’Rourke understands the value of honor and leadership, having served as a Field Artillery Officer, Paratrooper and Brigade-Level Logistics Officer in the U.S. Army. He attained the rank of Captain, and earned the Bronze Star Medal for “exceptionally meritorious service” and a Combat Action Badge for working in hostile combat zones in Iraq.

A true public servant, Terence then began his legal career as a prosecutor here in New Hampshire. He was later appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney where he served as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and was lead attorney on Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Proliferation, and Counter-Espionage Operations, which required a Top Secret SCI clearance.

Now, as head of Rochester’s legal department and first in-house counsel, Terence represents the city in all civil proceedings and advises the City Manager, City Council, Police Commission and city departments. He was also elected to serve on Alton’s budget committee, where he lives with his wife and three children. Terence earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History from Marquette University and his Juris Doctorate with a Certificate of Specialization in European Legal Studies from Tulane University.

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Lincoln Soldati (Democrat)
Participation Confirmed

Born and raised in New Hampshire, Lincoln Soldati is a statewide leader with nearly 40 years experience as a trial lawyer (both as prosecutor and defense attorney), teacher, criminal justice reformer, speaker, elected public servant, and veteran.

Lincoln has spent over 20 years in public office at the local and county level – most notably serving 9 terms as Strafford County Attorney, as well as serving on the Somersworth School Board, the Somersworth Charter Commission, and as the Mayor of Somersworth.

As Strafford County Attorney, Lincoln created the Victim Assistance protocol which has become the state standard for prosecutions and investigations into sexual assault and child abuse cases.

Lincoln spent countless hours in the state capitol advocating for criminal justice reform before several NH Senate and House committees on issues including: victim's rights and compensation, child protection, reciprocal discovery, juvenile justice, legal limits for DWI, the Bail Reform Act, competency and commitment procedures, expanding wiretap use in drug cases, and against the death penalty. Lincoln was awarded the Roger M. Fossum Award “For outstanding dedication and service on behalf of NH’s children and families.” He is perhaps most proud of his work in successfully initiating legislation to transfer the cost of a rape examination kit from the victim to the state. He also trained judges, attorneys, police, medical personnel, rape crisis counselors, and college and high school students on jurisprudence and NH's criminal justice system.

“The standard by which all other county attorneys are measured.”

- Fosters Daily Democrat

Lincoln graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Dover; University of Notre Dame, IN; and Franklin Pierce Law Center (now University of New Hampshire School of Law.)

Lincoln served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971. He was raised by a feminist who worked in Civil Engineering at Pease Air Force Base, and a WWII veteran who took his talents in the kitchen to the Officers Club at Pease, Soldati’s Restaurant in Durham, and a local catering business.

Settled in a post-WWII government housing project for returning veterans, Lincoln grew up with a strong sense of pride and love for the granite state. Lincoln's energy and curiosity led him to obtain a private pilot's license and develop a number of interests, including carpentry and woodworking, music, hiking the White Mountains, fishing for stripers in the Piscataqua, and the family business - cooking. To this day, Lincoln loves being in a kitchen.

Lincoln and his wife Kathleen, both lifelong Democrats, raised four children in a house that was a home to the community – the door was never locked, the holiday party was for all neighbors of all ages, and Lincoln would make breakfast for all who visited. Above all, Lincoln believes in the value of community, in neighbors helping neighbors, and building friendships that make us thrive.

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Mindi Messmer (Democrat)
Participation Confirmed

Representative Messmer currently serves in the New Hampshire House, representing Rye and New Castle. She has been in New Hampshire for over 30 years.

Prior to elected office, Mindi worked as an Environmental consultant for 30 years and operated a woman-owned business that she started 20 years ago. While Mindi does not consider herself a Politician - she feels she was elected to the State House in 2016 after blowing the whistle on a Pediatric Cancer cluster and worked on Governor Hassan's task force to investigate Environmental triggers for the Seacoast Cancer Cluster. This experience has helped her articulate the impact of PFA's and the materials in firefighter turnout gear.

A child of a Union household, she most recently helped organize support for the Boilmakers Local 651 during their lockout at Westinghouse and founded New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance to support activism and legislative efforts. Mindi credits her activism roots to her mother, who until recently served as Vice President of the Nurses Union in New York City and lead the fight for the biggest settlement in the history of New York for Nurses Rights.

Mindi graduated from Syracuse 33 years ago and moved to New Hampshire for an M.S. program at UNH. She graduated from Georgetown University a few weeks ago with an M.S. in Clinical and Translational Science. This degree affords her the background to not only understand the toxins in the environment but also how the impact public health.

Mindi has worked across the aisle in the State House to pass important pieces of legislation to prevent cancer and chronic disease, protect drinking water, workers rights, reform the Mental Health Care System, protect the most vulnerable, and to speak out against hate and racism.

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