Republican Kevin Avard has represented the 12th District in New Hampshire since 2014. Avard is also a strong advocate of gun rights in a state that already has unlicensed open carry and some of the lowest crime statistics in the nation. He has successfully battled countless rounds in the state legislature supporting the carrying of a concealed weapon without a permit. Now he is under attack by a national gun control group.
Avard was a senate co-sponsor of HB 582 in 2016 and SB116 in 2015. These two pieces of legislation would allow New Hampshire residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. However, Govenor Maggie Hassan (Dem) shot down both bills even after citing her Second Amendment support, but publicly promising gun control groups her veto on gun rights legislation
Hassan claims Avard’s position, which is unpaid other than a $200 salary every two years, has been the target of big spending from out of state. Data from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office shows former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown group has spent $132,685 in the state against local candidates this cycle on robocalls, online campaigns and mailers, all aimed at Avard.
However, the NRA’s Political Victory Fund is showing no contributions to state candidates though they have endorsed the Republican incumbent, giving him an “A” rating while his opponent, former state Sen. Peggy Gilmour, has a lower “C” rating. Over and above the money spent by Everytown, Gilmour has raised $88,961 directly for her campaign, while Avard raised a little over $34,000 as of October 19 from small donors.
Avard said, “Bloomberg’s attempts to meddle in New Hampshire elections are just the kind of constitutionally protected political speech that liberals want to ban, except when such efforts are aimed at Republicans. We await the outrage from Democrats over Bloomberg spending such an absurd amount on one state Senate race.”