Van Ostern raises $325k for 2nd C.D. Dem bid

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Apr. 2—CONCORD — Democratic congressional candidate Colin Van Ostern of Concord raised more than $325,000 in the four days since he declared his campaign seeking to replace six-term U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., who is not running again this fall.

"I am deeply grateful to the hundreds of grassroots supporters across this district who have sent in this historic level of contributions to the campaign so quickly, and I look forward to fighting for the people of this district in Washington," Van Ostern said in a statement released to the Union Leader.

A former, two-term executive councilor and 2016 nominee for governor, Van Ostern is the only candidate in either major party who has declared a candidacy.

Legally, Van Ostern does not have to report his fundraising publicly until he submits a report with the Federal Elections Commission on any money he raised during the first quarter of 2024 that ended March 31. The deadline is April 15.

Had Van Ostern waited until Monday to announce, he would not have had to disclose any donations to his campaign until the middle of July after the end of the second quarter.

Van Ostern jumped in early, and clearly wanted to get the word out about his war chest in hopes that it could prompt some prominent Democrats to pass on running in the primary this September.

The candidate filing period for this seat begins in June.

Van Ostern, 46, announced the morning after Kuster, 67, had stunned observers by saying she would retire at year's end from representing the 2nd District that spans the western half of the state from Nashua on the Massachusetts border to the northern border with Canada.

Kuster's own fundraising prowess helped her fend off numerous GOP challenges in the district that she first won by unseating Republican Congressman Charles Bass in 2012.

Used fundraising to his benefit in past races

Financial strength also played a role in Kuster being able to avoid any serious Democratic primary challenge to her since she first won election.

In 2016, Van Ostern significantly outraised both his Democratic primary challengers in that governor's race, the late Deputy Secretary of State Mark Connolly and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand.

Van Ostern narrowly lost the general election to Republican Chris Sununu.

In 2018, Van Ostern supporters raised significant funds in support of his challenge to then-Secretary of State Bill Gardner who had been the longest-serving state elections chief in the country.

Gardner barely survived that race. He retired from that post in January 2022.

Also on Monday, Van Ostern announced that more than 100 women leaders had joined his campaign's first coalition to protect reproductive freedom.

Deb Butler, a Democratic activist from Concord, was a major fundraiser for Van Ostern's previous campaigns.

"I have known Colin for a long time. He understands that personal health decisions are just that, personal," said Butler, a leader in the new coalition. "The government does not belong in that room with a woman and her doctor and her family. Colin trusts women, period."

Other prominent Democrats agreeing to serve on Van Ostern's coalition include former state Sens. Melanie Levesque of Brookline, Martha Fuller Clark of Concord, Martha Hennessey of Hanover and Deborah Reynolds of Plymouth, Nashua Alderwoman Shoshanna Kelly, former state Senate nominee Jenn Alford-Teaster of Sutton and Elizabeth Hitchcock and Tara Chynoweth, both of Manchester.