Senator Sherman explores the race to ‘heal wounds’ as a doctor

RYE — Tom Sherman, highlighting his credentials as a medical doctor and Democratic state senator from New Hampshire, announced on Tuesday that he plans to run for governor in 2022.

Sherman argued that as a doctor, he is well qualified to help “heal the wounds” of the coronavirus pandemic and political divisions in New Hampshire.

“We need expertise coming out of (the pandemic),” he said. “We have to help people recover from this. We absolutely have to make sure we’re ready if another pandemic happens or if COVID has another surprise for us.”

Sherman, 64, of Rye, is a gastroenterologist and in his second two-year term representing Coastal District 24 in the State Senate, serving the cities of Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, New Castle, North Hampton, Newton, Rye, Seabrook, Stratham and South Hampton. Previously, he served two terms as a state representative in the House. He was elected to the Senate in 2018 and re-elected in 2020.

‘I’ve had a lifetime of service from being in high school working in an ambulance to medical school, where I designed a clinic at a shelter in Hartford, Connecticut, which is still operating today’ today,” Sherman said. “That’s how I think. A lot of people had unmet health needs and there was a medical school a short drive away where students could have clinical experience with people who desperately needed it.”

Sherman said he expects to spend a few weeks gauging the excitement of his potential campaign and fundraising ability. He said a formal announcement of joining the governor’s race, if he does, would likely be in early March. He also said he would “do everything I can” to avoid a primary competition for the Democratic nomination, saying the primaries historically favored the incumbent governor of New Hampshire. No Democrats have yet declared their candidacy for governor in 2022.

A potential match with Sununu

Sherman, if he wins the Democratic nomination, would face Republican Governor Chris Sununu, 47, who announced in November that he was seeking a fourth two-year term as governor after deciding not to run for the Senate. American.

Sherman said Sununu’s administration and the current Republican-majority state legislature “do not reflect the values ​​of the majority of New Hampshire residents.”

He said Sununu had signed “one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country” in 2021.

He added: ‘It’s not just restrictive, it’s cruel’, citing the 24-week limit is coupled with ultrasound requirements and may compel ‘women who have been raped or have an abnormality lethal fetus” to carry a pregnancy to term.

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Sherman also denounced Sununu’s decision to enact the law under state budget rules which he said “censor teachers” and the efforts of the current legislature to impose more restrictions on what is taught in schools. state schools.

“I believe we’re off track,” Sherman said. “We are not moving forward in a way that is traditionally New Hampshire. But there is tremendous hope that we can unite the state. We have the best workers and the best companies in the country. We can still be more productive and prosperous.” .”

Sununu won his third term in 2020 with more than 65% of the vote in a decisive victory over Dan Feltes, who arrived with credentials as a Democratic state senator.

“Let’s stop the politics of division,” Sherman said. “Much of our current governor’s actions are driven by a small minority in the state and have divided the rest of us.”

Eliot Gould, executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, responded to Sherman’s possible candidacy.

“Good luck with that. Income tax godfather Tom Sherman will be just the latest in a long line of failed Democratic gubernatorial candidates that Democrats have put forth in their doomed quest for failure to overthrow (Sununu),” Gould said.

Gould and other Republicans pointed to Sherman’s support for paid family and medical leave legislation that included a 0.5% payroll deduction as income tax. Sherman has previously countered this argument by saying “if they call paid family medical leave an income tax, then New Hampshire already has an income tax and that’s unemployment insurance.”

Sherman boasted that he was the only medical officer in the state Senate and positioned himself as a leader in public health. He was candid about the issues of COVID-19 and issues related to PFAS contamination in nearshore water. He is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and sits on the Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Sherman served as chief medical officer for the COVID Policy Alliance, an all-volunteer organization of Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty formed to combat the spread and impact of the virus. Sherman also chaired and co-founded the Senior Support Team, an effort launched by the COVID Policy Alliance, to help senior living facilities. The commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services nominated Sherman to serve on the state’s Disaster Care Standards Medical Advisory Committee.