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House kills second bill related to secretary of state race

June 5, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Legislature has defeated a pair of bills filed in response to the hotly contested secretary of state’s race last year.

Longtime Secretary of State Bill Gardner barely survived a challenge by former Democratic gubernatorial Colin Van Ostern in December when lawmakers re-elected him to a 22nd term. After Van Ostern amassed more than $200,000 in his unsuccessful bid, lawmakers proposed bills that would limit campaigning for that office and for state treasurer, who also elected by the Legislature.

The House in February defeated one bill that would have prohibited such candidates from accepting political contributions. On Wednesday, it killed a bill that would have prohibited them from making political contributions.

Supporters argued the bill would prevent conflicts of interest but opponents said it would have infringed on free speech.

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