|82nd Governor of New Hampshire|
|Assumed office |
January 5, 2017
|Preceded by||Maggie Hassan|
Chuck Morse (acting)
|Member of the New Hampshire Executive Council from the 3rd district|
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Beverly Hollingworth|
|Succeeded by||Russell Prescott|
|Born||November 5, 1974|
Salem, New Hampshire, U.S.
|Relatives||John H. Sununu (father)|
John E. Sununu (brother)
|Education||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)|
Christopher T. Sununu (//; born November 5, 1974) is an American Republican politician, businessman, and engineer serving as the 82nd Governor of New Hampshire since January 2017. Sununu was previously a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council, an office he held from 2011 to 2017.
Sununu was born in Salem, New Hampshire. He also served as chief executive officer of the Waterville Valley Ski Resort in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. He earned a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sununu is a son of former New Hampshire Governor and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu and younger brother of former U.S. Representative and Senator John E. Sununu.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Early career
- 3 New Hampshire Executive Council
- 4 Governor of New Hampshire
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Electoral history
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and education
Sununu, one of eight siblings, was raised in Salem, New Hampshire. He is the son of Nancy (Hayes) and former Governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu. His father's ancestors were Lebanese and Palestinian and came to the United States around the start of the 20th century. They belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church Chris Sununu was sworn in with a Greek Orthodox New Testament belonging to his family. His father was born in Havana, Cuba; however, most of the last two generations of Sununus were born in the United States. His mother's ancestors include immigrants from Ireland, as well as Scotland and England.
- Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County, Virginia, graduated 1993
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, BS in Civil/Environmental Engineering, graduated 1998
From 1998 to 2006, Sununu worked as an environmental engineer designing systems and solutions for cleaning up waste sites. He specialized in soil and groundwater remediation, wastewater treatment plants, and landfill designs.
• In 2010, Sununu led a group of investors in the buyout of Waterville Valley Resort where he worked as Chief Executive Officer. Waterville Valley employs over 700 people in the North Country. Sununu led an aggressive expansion effort of the ski resort in cooperation with the United States Forest Service. The resort offers downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, golf, tennis, mountain biking, a year-round ice arena and conference center services.
• From 2006 to 2010, Sununu was an owner and director of Sununu Enterprises, a family business and strategic consulting group located in Exeter, NH. He focused much of his time on local, national and international real estate development, venture technologies and business acquisitions.
New Hampshire Executive Council
10-Year Highway Plan
On December 16, 2015, the Governor's Advisory Commission on the Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) presented the 10-Year Plan for 2017-2026 to the Governor of State New Hampshire. Executive Counselor Sununu, as a voting member of GACIT, helped develop the blueprint which "aggressively addressed financial constraint, assuming federal funding of about $160 million per year."
In 2010, Sununu joined the other four Executive Council members in voting unanimously to release Ward Bird from his mandatory three to six-year prison sentence for threatening another person with a gun. The council voted to grant a full pardon to the Moultonborough farmer, who was convicted of brandishing a gun at a woman who trespassed on his posted property in 2008. But Lynch, who has never granted a pardon during his tenure in the Corner Office, vetoed the measure, saying the judicial system had given Bird's case a thorough review and he would not undermine that. The council then immediately voted to commute his sentence, and Lynch let that vote stand.
Home Help NH
In 2011, The New Hampshire Executive Council worked with the New Hampshire Attorney General and Banking Department to approve and create Home Help NH. The group assists citizens placed in financial distress and, in some cases, taken advantage of by big banks during the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
In 2011, Sununu led a series of public hearings to review proposals for Managed Medicaid, a program to help New Hampshire Medicaid recipients to coordinate their health care. It also helps Medicaid recipients with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, obesity, and mental illness. Through this program, Medicaid recipients have wellness and prevention programs as a part of their Medicaid benefit.
In 2014, a 300-page, $292 million amendment to the state's Medicaid program came before the Executive Council only two hours before the scheduled vote. Republicans Joseph Kenney and Sununu urged the governor and other Democrats present not to vote for the contract, but lost the vote 3-2, along party lines.
Governor of New Hampshire
In the general election, Sununu defeated Democratic nominee Colin Van Ostern, 48.8% to 46.6%.
Governor Sununu was endorsed by the New Hampshire Troopers Association, New Hampshire Police Association, Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 104.
In his bid for re-election, Sununu was also endorsed by numerous New Hampshire news outlets, including: The Portsmouth Herald, The Union Leader, The Eagle-Tribune, Nashua Telegraph, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Exeter News-Letter, Seacoast Online, and the Hampton Union.
Sununu was sworn in as Governor for a two-year term on January 5, 2017. Sununu is currently serving his second term as Governor and was sworn in on January 3, 2019.
Among his accomplishments during his first term was delivering a balanced state budget with no new taxes or fees and establishing full day kindergarten. Additionally, Governor Sununu provided property tax relief by returning $65 million to cities and towns for roads, bridges, and safer schools, invested $275 million in clean water projects, expanded educational opportunities for students, and signed job creating business tax cuts into law.
Governor Sununu’s leadership has garnered a number of awards including the New Futures’ 2017 President’s Award for championing policies that improve the health and wellness of all Granite Staters. He is one of only five Governors honored by AARP with their Capitol Caregiver 2017 award and received CASA’s 2018 John McDermott Champion of Children Award.
In 2018, Governor Sununu announced the nationwide launch of his Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative to engage employers and empower workplaces to provide support for people recovering from substance use disorder. More than 40,000 employees in the Granite State work for a designated Recovery Friendly Workplace.
In October of 2018, Sununu introduced the State’s new “hub and spoke model.” The model includes nine regional hubs (located in Berlin, Concord, Dover, Hanover, Keene, Laconia, Littleton, Manchester, and Nashua) which coordinate with local “spokes” to provide addiction recovery services. Hubs receive $9 million a year in funding, stemming from $45.8 million in federal aid to combat the state’s opioid epidemic . In March of 2019 Governor Sununu announced that an additional $12 million had been allocated to New Hampshire to fight the opioid epidemic . The program also includes a new 24/7 “211” hotline, which allows Granite Staters to call and be directed to recovery services at any time.
Sununu is a moderate Republican. He is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He is in favor of tax cuts, but takes liberal positions on some social issues. On The Issues, a non-profit and non-partisan organization which tracks politicians' positions, considers Sununu to be a "Moderate Libertarian Conservative."
Economic and fiscal positions
Sununu nominated 27 New Hampshire 'opportunity zones' to receive federal tax breaks for low income areas. He supported tax cuts for businesses and a reduction in property taxes. Following the 2018 mid-term elections, in which Democrats regained control of the New Hampshire State Legislature, Sununu vowed to veto their proposal to create a state income tax, as well as several other new taxes and fees. Regarding health care policy, Sununu signed a bill making it easier for medical facilities to be licensed to treat veterans. Sununu also opposed the Senate's Republican health care plan in 2017, citing that the proposal would negatively impact Medicaid and addiction recovery services in the state
In late June 2018, Sununu vetoed New Hampshire Senate Bill 446, which would have increased the size limit for net metered projects from 1 megawatt (MW) to 5 MW. The veto was supported by advocates for ratepayers and customers. The legislation had been introduced by state Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua). Currently, 1 MW is the upper limit for net metering in New Hampshire. Beneficiaries under this cap are mostly homeowners and small businesses. However, according to Marc Brown, president of the New England Ratepayers Association, if the 1 MW limit was raised to 5 MW, " larger businesses or small municipalities could potentially be making money, a subsidy that would cost the ratepayers in the end."
In a statement about his veto of Senate Bill 446 (and a separate bill, Senate Bill 365), Sununu said the bills would collectively cost New Hampshire electric ratepayers (consumers) around $100 million over three years. "While I agree that expanding net metering could be a benefit to our state, Senate Bill 446 would cost ratepayers at least $5 to $10 million annually and is a handout to large-scale energy developers," Sununu said. "These immense projects should use incentives already available and compete on their own merits."
On abortion, Sununu says that he is pro-choice, but opposes taxpayer funding for abortions and supports the ban on partial-birth abortion. In 2015, as a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council he voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Sununu had supported other contracts with Planned Parenthood. He later reversed his position and voted to restore the funding. In 2018, he said "I'm pro-choice. I support Roe v. Wade."
Regarding immigration, Sununu said he would refuse to send the National Guard to the border to enforce Trump's 'zero-tolerance' policy that has resulted in family separations.
Sununu is seen as supportive of LGBT rights; he said that he does not get involved with the state's GOP platform issues and he was a speaker at an event for the Log Cabin Republicans, a GOP political action committee that supports same-sex marriage and other gay rights. In 2018, Sununu signed into law two bills intended to protect the rights of the LGBT community. He signed a bill prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity as well as a bill to ban 'conversion' therapy from being used on minors.
He is opposed to legalizing marijuana.
Sununu is an active skier and rugby player and, in 1998, completed a five-month through-hike of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. He lives with wife, Valerie, and their three children, Calvin, Edie, and Leo, in Newfields, New Hampshire.
Executive Council 1st Term
In 2010, Chris Sununu (R) defeated incumbent Beverly Hollingworth (D) 53,053 to 41,875 or 55.9% to 44.1%.
Executive Council 2nd Term
In 2012, Chris Sununu (R) defeated Bill Duncan (D) 75,856 to 55,432 or 55.2% to 40.3%, with 4.5% going to Libertarian candidate Michael Baldassarre.
Executive Council 3rd Term
|Democratic||Colin Van Ostern||337,589||46.57%|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
- S., John. "John H. Sununu is a Cuban-born American politician of Palestinian descent, the father of John E. Sununu". John Learn. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- DiStaso, John (January 6, 2017). "Chris Sununu inaugurated as New Hampshire's 82nd governor". WMUR. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- Times, Special To The New York (November 21, 1988). "Behind the Sununu Surname". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- "Draft 10-Year Plan Letter" (PDF). Nh.gov. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- "Ten Year Plan addresses highest priorities / January 4, 2016". www.citizen.com. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- "Lynch, Council Free Ward Bird". info.nhpr.org. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- "NH Medicaid Care Management Program | New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services". www.dhhs.state.nh.us. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- "Executive Council approves Medicaid expansion contract | New Hampshire". UnionLeader.com. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- "New Hampshire Governor Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- Sexton, Adam (August 15, 2018). "State rolls out plan to use $45M in federal money to fight opioid crisis". WMUR. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- Associated Press (March 21, 2019). "New Hampshire gets nearly $12M to fight opioid epidemic". Concord Monitor.
- Sexton, Adam (December 31, 2017). "Looking back at Gov. Sununu's first year in office". WMUR. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "Popular Republicans: The New England Enigma | National Review". National Review. June 27, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "Chris Sununu on the Issues". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Garrova, Robert. "Sununu Nominates 27 N.H. 'Opportunity Zones' for Federal Tax Incentives". Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "Property tax is biggest burden for NH businesses - New Hampshire Business Review - November 10 2017". Nhbr.com. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- Cherry, Mike (June 11, 2018). "Governor signs bill aimed at expanding health care options for veterans". WMUR. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "Senate health care plan 'not viable' for New Hampshire, says Gov. Sununu". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- Brandt, Jaclyn (June 20, 2018). "N.H. governor vetoes energy bill citing high cost to electric ratepayers". Daily Energy Insider. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "Where 2016 candidates for governor stand on issues". WMUR. August 12, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "New Hampshire defunds Planned Parenthood facilities". The Washington Times. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- Rogers, Josh. "Kelly Says Threats To Abortion, Gay Rights Key Issues In Campaign Against Gov. Sununu". Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- Levitz, Jennifer (November 6, 2016). "Abortion Becomes Central Issue in New England Governors' Races". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- Steinhauser, Paul (October 3, 2018). "Democratic challengerKelly questions if Sununu is really pro-choice if he supports Kavanaugh". concordmonitor.com.
- DiStaso, John (June 20, 2018). "Sununu would refuse to deploy NH National Guard to border 'to separate families'". WMUR. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- DiStaso, John (May 17, 2018). "NH Primary Source: Sununu says he 'doesn't get involved' in NHGOP platform issues". WMUR. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "N.H. governor signs two pro-LGBT bills". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. June 8, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- DeWitt, Ethan (December 17, 2018). "'The next major battle': Sununu charges against marijuana legalization". concordmonitor.com.
- Steinhauser, Paul (November 6, 2018). "Gov. Sununu optimistic after voting in Newfields". seacoastonline.com. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
- "Executive Council - NHSOS". sos.nh.gov. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- "Executive Council - 2012 General Election - NHSOS". sos.nh.gov. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- "2016 General Election Information and Results". Secretary of State, New Hampshire. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- Office of the Governor official government site
- Chris Sununu for Governor official campaign site
- Chris Sununu at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Councilor Christopher T. Sununu at the New Hampshire Executive Council, District 3, archived
- ABC News article on Sununu[dead link]
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Governor of New Hampshire
| Governor of New Hampshire
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Vice President
| Order of Precedence of the United States
Within New Hampshire
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
as Governor of South Carolina
| Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside New Hampshire
as Governor of Virginia