Granite State Progress Requests AG Recusal Around Election Law Complaint Chris Sununu’s Campaign Accepted Nearly $20,000 in Illegal Campaign Contributions

Granite State Progress respectfully asks office to avoid any appearance of impropriety, also requests that DOJ expedite complaint

Concord, NH – On Monday, Granite State Progress respectfully requested that Attorney General Gordon MacDonald recuse himself from any role around the election law complaint that the Friends of Chris Sununu accepted nearly $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

Granite State Progress’ letter reads in part: “Our organization appreciates the work of your office, and in particular the new unit and dedicated resources to investigate election law complaints. Given the high-profile nature of this complaint and the need for the Attorney General’s office to remain free from even the appearance of impropriety, Granite State Progress respectfully requests that Attorney General Gordon MacDonald recuse himself from any role regarding the election complaint filed around Friends of Chris Sununu accepting nearly $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions. As noted in the media, the Attorney General’s former law firm is one of the partnerships listed in the complaint … The Friends of Chris Sununu campaign has publicly indicated that they will not return the donations and intend to argue the law does not apply to them. If the Sununu campaign stands by that statement, it is likely this election law complaint will gather more scrutiny.”

Previously, Granite State Progress sent a letter requesting that the Attorney General’s office expedite the review of the complaint, citing three major concerns arising from the Sununu campaign’s public defense of the contributions: 1) the Sununu campaign intends to spend the prohibited funds; 2) the Sununu campaign will continue to accept prohibited contributions; and 3) other partnerships and unions, and the candidate campaigns they may support, are at disadvantage if they continue to follow the law while the Sununu campaign accepts and uses prohibited funds.

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins: “Granite State Progress is confident in the grounds for our complaint that the Chris Sununu campaign accepted nearly $20,000 in illegal contributions. There are only two outcomes here, either the Sununu campaign has to return the illegal contributions or the Attorney General’s office overturns the law prohibiting contributions from partnerships and unions. Either way, this will be a high-profile ruling with major implications. We appreciate the work of the Attorney General’s office to investigate this complaint. This case is only further proof of why the new election unit is so important, so that violations are caught earlier before they can unduly influence our elections.”

Under RSA 664:18, the normal process is for the Attorney General’s office to review the complaint and determine whether to open an investigation. Last week the office confirmed that a copy of the complaint had been sent to the Sununu campaign with a request to respond, signaling an investigation. No specific time frame or deadline was established for the response.

A copy of the full complaint can be found here.

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Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.