Andrew Hemingway is a 32-year-old entrepreneur from Bristol, NH running on the Republican ticket for New Hampshire Governor. He is currently the only competitor to challenge governor Maggie Hassan (D-Exeter) and hopes to unseat her this November. Hemingway has a background in innovative technology- he organized the first Twitter presidential debate in 2011 and is also the founder of Grassloot, a simplified and more efficient online donation application that allows its users to donate to their favorite causes and campaigns from virtually all mobile devices, including via text.
Issues of education, fiscal responsibility, and civil liberties are at the forefront of his campaign. Hemingway is opposed to Obamacare- describing it as “an abject failure”- and wants to see it repealed. “In New Hampshire we have only one insurance company eligible on the Exchange,” Hemingway tells Benswann.com. “That has created a monopoly and massive premium costs for our families. Ten hospitals are removed from the network leaving people in the north country having to drive hours for basic medical care. I’d like to see Obamacare repealed, until those in Washington can make that happen we need to fosters competition in NH to lower costs and increase access to health care.”
In addition to Obamacare, Hemingway is also opposed to Common Core, new federal education standards that are under scrutiny from teachers and parents for its controversial teaching material. While the outrage and frustration over Common Core is happening all over the country, Hemingway wants to see an end to it in New Hampshire:
“I adamantly oppose Common Core. Common Core substitutes tried and true educational process with an unproven top down mess that hurts our children and relegates our teachers to mere bystanders in the classroom. Our campaign will state here and now that the most important person to make decisions for the classroom is the individual teacher. Why would anyone want to change that? Gov. Hassan made the support of Common Core one of the main points in her State of the State address on Feb. 6th. It is clear that there can be no more of a fundamental difference between Gov. Hassan and myself. I believe in the rights of the parents, those who are responsible for their children and who pay the taxes which support public education. Gov. Hassan believes in the right of the State through Federal coercive measures to dictate what and how your children learn. She stands with the Government. I stand with the people.”
One issue that does not come up as often as Obamacare or Common core in campaigns is the matter of NSA spying. Hemingway stands in favor of personal privacy, saying, “Privacy in a world where technology is developing so rapidly is something all leaders must address. Whether it is protection of our emails, our phone calls, our physical images or our health care, we must protect our citizens individual liberties and as Governor I will do so.” Hemingway plans to fight their intrusion on New Hampshire residents: “Our Forefathers never intended to allow such government intrusion and hijacking of liberty to be allowed. Next week, I will be releasing the most comprehensive privacy plan I have yet to see put forward on the state level. While, as Governor, I cannot prevent the NSA from the illegal spying they are conducting on Americans, I can make sure its information is not used to prosecute anyone in our state judicial system. ”
Marijuana has been a hot-button issue in New Hampshire, with multiple attempts to legalize and/or decriminalize having been made over the last several years. Currently there is a legalization bill passed by the House in January (now in the House Ways and Means Committee) and a decriminalization bill passed March 12. While Maggie Hassan signed a tightly controlled medical marijuana bill last July, she has stated that she will not support anything further than what she has already signed, including any legalization or decriminalization measures.
Hemingway’s approach to the issue calls for an end to archaic marijuana laws. On the topic of decriminalization, he says it makes sense as a first step. ” Why are we threatening to put people in jail for having a small amount of marijuana for personal use? Why are we threatening people to lose their jobs, or college acceptance over this? Why are we spending money prosecuting these crimes and ruining people’s lives? The punishment needs to fit the ‘crime’ and decriminalization is a common sense way to do that.”
Hemingway also disagrees with the medical marijuana legislation signed by Hassan, saying, “The law supported by Maggie Hassan still today leaves patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other serious illnesses, with no protection from arrest and no ability to access marijuana if their doctors recommend it. We must improve access for those suffering.” While Governor Hassan remains opposed to marijuana legalization and has vowed to veto any such bill, Hemingway is open to such discussion:
“I am open to discussing legalization. There are several issues involved. First, we must recognize we have a very serious heroin and illegal prescription drug problem in this state. Focusing on marijuana doesn’t solve that problem. If a person has to go to a dealer for marijuana that person now has access to an individual who may have access to dangerous drugs like heroin. Legalizing marijuana puts a buffer between a dealer of heroin, narcotics, opiates etc and an individual who may otherwise never have thought of trying those dangerous drugs. If we legalize it, we control it and we can tax it. We can use a portion of that tax to go to drug treatment programs to address these serious heroin and narcotic problems we have. NH is 49th in treatment. Let’s get a revenue stream to address a growing and serious problem in NH and I do not see that problem as marijuana.”
Hemingway’s steering committee includes liberty-minded New Hampshire State Representative Emily Sandblade (R-Hillsborough) and former libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Babiarz of Grafton, who is also the town’s fire chief.
Hemingway looks to use his entrepreneurial and technological background to place him ahead of the curve in his campaign. Hemingway’s platform has been resonating with New Hampshire’s residents who value personal freedom, and he has the potential to be America’s most liberty-minded Governor if elected.
Today marks the launch of his fundraising campaign, Moneybomb Madness, and is the first major candidate to accept Bitcoin donations. For more information visit AndrewHemingway.com.
Hemingway will be joining Ben Swann on his radio show on Tuesday March 25th.