Issue #17 – Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014
MANCHESTER – Shire Liberty News interviewed Amanda Bouldin, an under-30 first-time Democrat candidate for State Representative in Manchester Ward 5 who beat an opponent with greater name recognition by only eight votes to move on to an uncontested general election. Bouldin was endorsed by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance.
SLN: Tell us about yourself.
AB: I’ve lived in New Hampshire for five years. I’m a single mom; my daughter is 8 and goes to a charter school here in Manchester. I founded and run Shire Sharing, a charity that delivers Thanksgiving dinner to the needy in several New Hampshire towns.
SLN: What made you decide to run for State Representative?
AB: Of all the different avenues of liberty activism possible, I think that the legislative path is the most effective and least expensive. For example, when you look at civil disobedience, you give up a lot for a little bit of principled success.
It only cost $2 to register [to run for State Rep]. You can raise money for your campaign if you want to, or you can run no campaign and hope to just luck out and get elected. For example, my roommate Tim O’Flaherty (D) Hillsborough 12 won his primary by one vote in 2012. He was unknown and did very little campaigning. Since getting elected, he sponsored and cosponsored more pro-liberty legislation than any other representative. He got some bills passed and got an outdated law entirely repealed.
SLN: What things did you do during your campaign?
AB: I knocked on doors to meet my neighbors. I left flyers. Other volunteers also flyered doors on my behalf. We did two sign waves at busy intersections in my district. At the polls, I had signs printed up and I got volunteers to come stand with me all day. Sometimes even more people than had volunteered showed up to stand with me. I had more sign holders than any other candidate at the polling station.
SLN: Did you think you were going to win?
AB: No! I had a lot of ups and downs during the day. The incumbent told me I would win, which was encouraging. Still, I was shocked and surprised when I won.
SLN: What issues do you plan to focus on in the State House if you win the general election?
AB: During the campaign one of my constituents, a psychiatric nurse, called and told me that the state recently changed the licensing requirements in such a way that it’s now impossible for her to work. She thinks the new standard is excessive and unnecessary, and that this is why there’s a shortage of psychiatric nurses in New Hampshire. I’m really interested in how regulation affects business and am eager to do what I can to minimize unnecessary regulations that strangle small businesses.
SLN: Do you have any advice for other liberty candidates?
AB: If there’s anything that I learned, it’s that people who vote in a particular party don’t necessarily have the same mindset as the people who run the party. If you think you don’t fit in, you’re mistaken. You can probably connect really well with people if you just try. Granite Staters are very independent thinkers. It’s a matter of getting out and meeting the voters one on one. It’s worth the time and effort.
SLN: Anything else you’d like to share with SLN readers?
AB: I hope that every liberty activist in New Hampshire will consider a run for State Rep. It was thrilling, exciting, and an emotional roller coaster. It’s hard, but I’d do it all over again.