Around New England

New Hampshire GOP Candidate For Governor Calls Maura Healey ‘Soft On Crime’

April 17, 2024

New Hampshire candidate for governor Kelly Ayotte called Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey “soft on crime” after police said a man driving a car with Massachusetts license plates robbed a mailman in southern New Hampshire.

“Shocker:  Mass. license plate involved in Nashua robbery,” Ayotte said on the social media platform widely known as Twitter on Wednesday, April 17. “Unlike @MassGovernor, I don’t tolerate soft-on-crime policies. As Governor, I’ll ensure criminals who come to New Hampshire from Massachusetts find no sanctuary in our state.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell, a Democrat, during an appearance Wednesday, April 17 on Boston Public Radio called Ayotte’s criticism of Healey “ridiculous” and “nonsense,” according to State House News Service.

It’s not the first time Ayotte, a Republican and a former U.S. senator, has tried to make the Massachusetts governor an issue in the New Hampshire governor’s race.

Healey has endorsed a Democratic candidate for governor of New Hampshire, Joyce Craig, a former mayor of the state’s largest city, Manchester.

On March 16, as New Boston Post reported at the time, police in Rockland, Massachusetts arrested a 26-year-old Haitian man and charged him with raping a 15-year-old girl at a state-funded shelter for migrants.

Healey later called the incident “a horrible situation, a horrible allegation,” and said “my thoughts are with the victim.”

But Healey also, as WBZ’s Jon Keller put it in a story published March 21, “sought to downplay the migrant aspect of the story.”

“We have security and systems in place. We have vetting in place. It is unfortunate that, you know, from time to time things will happen – and as I say, anywhere, not just in a shelter, but anywhere,” Healey said (at 0:55 of the video of the story).

That led Ayotte to call on her Democratic opponent in New Hampshire to distance herself from Healey.

“Maura Healey should be ashamed of herself,” Ayotte said March 21 on Twitter. “Unfortunately, [Joyce Craig] agrees with her Massachusetts mentor’s dangerous sanctuary policies and would bring this crisis to New Hampshire. Craig needs to denounce Healey’s endorsement and condemn sanctuary policies.”

A spokesman for Craig called the criticism “a disgusting attack by Kelly Ayotte” and said Craig “worked closely with law enforcement to reduce violent crime in Manchester by nearly 40% as mayor” and that Craig “supports legislation to strengthen our nation’s border.”

Healey, in an interview with Keller broadcast by WBZ on Sunday, March 21, refused to respond to Ayotte’s criticism of her over Healey’s comments on the Rockland rape allegation , except to say of Ayotte’s tweet:  “Well, obviously that wasn’t the whole quote that I gave.”


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