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Election Connection

October 29, 2012

Kuster, Bass in congressional rematch

Bass, Kuster both point to need for bipartisanship

The rematch between Republican Congressman Charles Bass and Democratic challenger Ann McLane Kuster could swing on who voters believe will get along better with the opposing party.

“She would be the most hyper-partisan Democrat in the entire Congress and would be unable to work with a single Republican,” Bass said.

“To me, the votes he took twice on the (Paul) Ryan budget, in addition to numerous votes with Speaker Boehner and the Tea Party leadership, are indicative that he is really go along, get along when it comes to his role with Republican leadership,” Kuster said.

Bass, 60, a seven-term Congressman, narrowly defeated Kuster, 56, two years ago to return to Congress in New Hampshire’s 2nd District after an absence of four years.

They are scions of Granite State political dynasties, both with family reputations for occupying the political middleground.

Bass is endorsed by conservative Republican former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson and Democratic former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, who together headed President Obama’s deficit reduction panel.

He recently received an “economic patriot” award from The Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group founded by former Sens. Warren Rudman and Paul Tsongas that advocates for responsible fiscal policy.

“I have the interests of the country at stake,” Bass said. “It’s not going to be the Republican way or the Democratic way. It’s going to be the American way.”

Kuster is a law partner of Republican activist Tom Rath and traveled the Statehouse corridors working with legislators of both parties to establish the state’s UNIQUE college saving plan. She shares a hairdresser with Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and said she would support Ayotte’s effort to protect New Hampshire businesses from the burden of collecting sales taxes for other states.

“I don’t care if an idea is Republican or Democratic,” Kuster said. “My test will be is this an idea that is good for the people of New Hampshire.”

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