Concord Monitor: Hodes, Binnie file for Senate race

Cheers of “Hooooodes” followed Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes down the long hallway to the secretary of state’s office, as more than 150 supporters waved “Hodes for Senate” signs and American flags.

“He’s for New Hampshire’s middle class, for 95 percent of people who are not big oil, big banks or finance,” said Ed Allard, a potential Democratic candidate for state representative from Laconia.

Several hours later, the Democrats were replaced by about 50 Republican supporters of Senate candidate Bill Binnie. “Binnie, Binnie, he’s our man. If he can’t do it, no one can,” they chanted.

Hodes and Binnie yesterday became the first two well-known candidates for U.S. Senate to file with the secretary of state’s office. Republicans Kelly Ayotte, Ovide Lamontagne and Jim Bender are expected to file later this week. Republicans Tom Alciere and Dennis Lamare filed last week.

In the morning, Hodes’s supporters crowded the State House hallway, fresh from a Hodes-sponsored pancake breakfast. State Employees’ Association President Gary Smith carried a Hodes sign, and several Democratic state representatives stood outside the secretary of state’s office. Hodes filled out his candidate form with his wife, Peggo, by his side and then took questions from reporters.