EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

November 2, 2012

Guinta, Shea-Porter in bitter battle

Economy, health care two of main issues

With only four days to go before the election, the 1st Congressional District race between Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter is heating up — with one attack after another.

Tonight, the two rivals will continue their battle over job creation, health care and other issues in a televised debate at St. Anselm College.

In the last two days, their campaigns have been sparring over whether New Hampshire should adopt a constitutional amendment that prohibits a state income tax. It’s a central issue for many candidates in the election Tuesday.

Guinta, seeking election to his second two-year term, joined the state’s other top Republican candidates at a press conference Wednesday in Concord to voice their support for the hotly debated Question 1.

Shea-Porter, a former Democratic congresswoman whom Guinta defeated in 2010, responded late Wednesday night by criticizing him for not being in Washington to tackle key economic issues facing the nation.

“My position is that there is no need to pass a constitutional amendment because no one is proposing a state income tax,” Shea-Porter said in a statement.

Guinta contends the amendment would ensure an income tax is never adopted.

Shea-Porter continued her attack.

“However, the real question is: Why is Congressman Frank Guinta hanging around the State Capitol?” the 59-year-old Rochester resident said. “Shouldn’t he be at the Federal Capitol, fixing the mess he left us in and stopping us from going over the fiscal cliff he and his tea party colleagues created?”

Guinta, 42, said in an interview yesterday the income tax ban is just one of many issues that divide the two candidates.

The former Manchester mayor said he has remained in the state this week as thousands of New Hampshire residents cope with the storm aftermath caused by Sandy. He will not return to Washington until Nov. 13.

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