Meet The Candidate-Rich Leonard Addresses The Issues For The NHPTV Voter Guide

The NHPTV Voter Guide on NH Candidates



New Hampshire Public Television is building a voter information page, called NH Votes! Information on the 2012 elections, the candidates, meetings, and forums can be found on the website.  As a candidate in the District 6 Senate race, I provided information for the Voter Guide.  Here is what I said in response to their candidate questions.  


From the NHPTV Voter Guide on Rich Leonard

Give an example of a situation in which you showed leadership.
35 years as a successful manager of small businesses, a pharmacy and my own farm.

What current political leader do you admire the most and why.

John Lynch has always been good, moderate voice in the state of New Hampshire and has demonstrated excellent natural disaster response.

What talents and qualifications would you bring to the office you seek?

Firsthand healthcare work, Medicare experience, working with the public; owner of a small farm; member of advising council for the Strafford Cooperative Extension Service.

Why are you running for this office?

We need to return moderate common sense voices to Concord that will focus on the right priorities for middle-class families, instead of the extreme agenda of this current legislature. As a state Senator, I will work to restore funding for higher education, to support our public schools and support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

I would bring a strong business background to the legislature, which I would put to work helping ensure that we can help businesses innovate and grow and create more jobs, as well as maintain fiscal responsibility for the state. I will bring civility and common sense to the discussion and the right priorities for our families: building the economy and improving education.

What is the BEST thing about NH and what will you do, if elected, to preserve it?

Natural beauty that attracts tourism and businesses, in addition to the safe and secure lifestyle that the state promotes. I oppose Northern Pass, I am concerned about the impact it will have on our tourism economy and property values of so many of our neighbors. As a state Senator, I will support efforts to protect clean air and clean water, as well as our open space.

What role do you think government should play in our lives?

Perform functions that no individual or small group could reasonably perform on their own, i.e. roads, transportation, infrastructure, educational systems, environmental safeguards and establishing legislation that protects the rights and privacy of individuals from being infringed upon by others.

What do you see as the three most important issues facing New Hampshire? If you are elected, what steps will you take to address these issues?

  1. Supporting our businesses efforts to create new jobs by supporting a skilled workforce, ensuring we have a good infrastructure of roads, bridges and telecommunications.
  2. Improving education so we can build the 21st century workforce we need for New Hampshire’s companies to innovate and grow.
  3. Making sure that individuals have accessible and affordable healthcare that they need.

What changes, if any, would you make to New Hampshire’s current revenue structure?

I oppose an income or a sales tax. I would support reversing some of the short-sighted changes the current legislature made to cut the tobacco tax.

What steps should state government be taking to protect and preserve New Hampshire’s environment?

Encourage the development of ecologically sustainable businesses. Support the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program to preserve the open spaces and special places that makes New Hampshire a great place to live and drives our tourism economy.

What role should the state play in funding New Hampshire’s schools and what role should the state play in regulating K-12 education?

The state has a constitutional responsibility for public schools, and we should ensure we meet it. This legislature has cut funding for higher education in half and cut aid to local public schools, at the same time it diverted millions of dollars in taxpayer money to private and religious schools. We need to focus on meeting our obligation to public schools to help relieve the burden on our local property taxpayers.

What should the state be doing to improve and repair infrastructure in the state?

I hear often from businesses and citizens about the need for good-quality roads and bridges. And delaying important repairs results in cases like the sudden shutdown of the Memorial Bridge. We need to fund our 10-year highway plan, which is why it was so disappointing that this legislature actually cut funding to an extent that the highway department is turning off lights.

Did you support the state ending funding to planned parenthood? 

Planned Parenthood offers critical health care services to women, including family planning and cancer screenings. The legislature should not be playing politics with women’s health care.

What steps should the state take to improve economic growth across New Hampshire?

We must make smart investments that will let our companies grow and create new jobs. 1) Build a 21st century workforce by supporting and improving our public schools, including our public colleges and universities, 2) Ensure we have a strong infrastructure, including roads, bridges and telecommunications and 3) Targeted tax credits, such as the research-and-development credit, that encourage companies to invest in New Hampshire

Do you believe there is a role for government in helping to provide NH citizens with adequate and affordable healthcare? If no, why not. If yes, what would you propose?

Yes, I would propose that NH accept and participate in the affordable healthcare act. The state should help to provide quality healthcare to people who can’t afford it for reasons beyond their control.

What role should the state play in supporting higher education in New Hampshire?

A strong public higher education system is essential to a strong economy and the success of our families. We must support higher education as a state, including beginning to restore funding this legislature has cut in half.

Do you support expansion of legalized gambling in New Hampshire? If no, why not. If yes, what would you propose?

I would support some small, regulated expansion of gambling in New Hampshire, so far as this will create jobs in the state and generate tax revenue.

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a complete voter guide from New Hampshire Public Television.

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