A year after voting against a state contract with Planned Parenthood, New Hampshire Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, now a Republican candidate for governor, voted for it Wednesday.
In a statement, Sununu said things have changed since last year, when the women’s health care organization was embroiled in a controversy, led by conservative activists, over the legality of its practices. He said because the charges against the organization had been dismissed by a court, “they should be treated like any other organization.”
“I stand by my principle that this state should not conduct business with groups under any investigation or that are embroiled in serious controversy,” Sununu said at the council meeting. “I have always supported women’s health initiatives and will continue to do so.”
The meeting was a who’s who of New Hampshire statewide candidates. Sununu is one of the Republican candidates vying to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, a candidate for U.S. Senate who was there in her capacity as a member of the council. Fellow councilor Collin Van Ostern, a Democratic candidate for governor, pressed Sununu to vote in favor of the contract during Wednesday’s meeting.
Despite his about-face, Democrats indicated Wednesday they are not dropping the issue against him, citing last year’s vote.
— Jared Leopold (@jaredleopold) June 29, 2016
And there is also a question of whether he will get that far. Despite being the former governor, John Sununu, he faces a grueling primary. Already, the Planned Parenthood vote has been raised against him by one of his Republican primary opponents, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.
“By casting the deciding vote to retroactively fund Planned Parenthood,” he said, “Sununu has betrayed New Hampshire taxpayers and has also turned his back on conservative grassroots activists.”