Vice President Pence visits New Hampshire to file on Trump’s behalf for primary

Vice President Mike Pence filed for the first-in-the-nation primary on President Trump’s behalf Thursday at the New Hampshire State House in Concord, handing over the requisite paperwork amid chants of “four more years” from avid supporters who lined the hallway outside the Secretary of State’s office.

The Vice President flew into New Hampshire Thursday morning for a quick trip to file for the February primary, a Granite State rite of passage, and then speak at “Politics & Eggs” — another primary season staple, hosted by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics — at 1 p.m. at Saint Anselm College in Manchester.

Supporters showed up to the State House well before 8 a.m., clad in MAGA hats or dress clothes with Trump-Pence pins. They held signs saying “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” and “Women for Trump!”

Pence called it a “privilege” to be able to file Trump’s name on the ballot in New Hampshire, the first state Trump won in the 2016 primaries. “We look forward to being in the Granite State again and again.”

Pence’s visit comes amid the parade of Democratic presidential hopefuls who have descended on Concord to submit their names for the February 2020 primary ballot. He was preceded by Democratic U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet on Wednesday, and will be followed by former Vice President Joe Biden, entrepreneur Andrew Yang on Friday, and U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker next week.

New Hampshire is a key battleground state the GOP believes it can flip in 2020. Trump won the first-in-the-nation primary handily in 2016, but narrowly lost to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the November election, trailing the Democrat by fewer than 3,000 votes.

Pence’s visit will bring the fanfare as Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee ramp up their efforts in the Granite State with less than a year to go until the general election. Their efforts so far have included holding volunteer training sessions and staging protests outside the events of the president’s key Democratic rivals.

A senior campaign official said Pence will likely return to New Hampshire often as the campaign goes on. Pence’s last trip to the state, a July appearance at Granite Recovery Centers in Salem, N.H., in his official capacity as vice president and not as a campaign event, was abruptly canceled.

Trump last came to New Hampshire in August, holding a packed and boisterous rally at the Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester.

The president has built his reelection bid on a strong economy, of which his campaign says New Hampshire has benefited — with a low unemployment rate of 2.5% and more than 17,000 new jobs.

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