CONCORD, NH — Both Bob Giuda and Charlie Bass officially filed their candidacies this morning at the Concord statehouse, overlapping at the building as each signaled his intent to enter the race for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional district.
Bass is running as a Washington insider, ready to jump back into politics, while Giuda is touting his more conservative record and committment to opposing big government.
With a new Washington Post-ABC News poll reporting that only 29 percent of Americans intend to support their current Congressman in the fall, it will be a test for Bass to see if voters view him as an incumbent or a fresh political face.
Bass, who served as the Congressman for the 2nd district from 1994 to 2006 before losing to current Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes, is a centrist Republican running on his Washington experience and familiarity with voters.
Though the seat has no incumbent, he is the only candidate running who has served in Congress before.
“We need people who are ready to go to work on the first day,” he said after signing his official papers in the statehouse Tuesday morning.
In contrast, Giuda, a state legislator, has attacked Bass for not being conservative enough or supporting fiscally responsible measures while in Congress. He said Bass’ voting record speaks for itself.
“Charlie’s experience in Washington was anything but conservative,” Giuda said. “Those who created the problem would be hard-pressed to explain themselves. We don’t want a Washington insider.”
Both Giuda and Bass have criticized the Democratic party‘s current leadership — citing it as a factor in their decision to run for office — and called for a reduction in government spending and job creation as major priorities.
But while Bass joked about filing for office for a second time this morning and presented a more relaxed, positive message of his belief in the American people, Giuda came across as angrier about the current state of politics and more passionate about his concern.
“Sometimes the victory is in the fight itself,” he said. “Make no mistake about it — I’m not going to Washington to be friendly.”
He said does not see legislators as political insiders and thinks they have a responsibility to reduce spending and oversight.
“As an elected representative, I never considered myself part of government,” he said. “The role of the representative is to restrict government.”
Meanwhile, Bass rejected questions about his conservatism, and said his Republican opponents have criticized government without providing viable solutions.
“It’s easy to complain,” he said. “”This election will provide voters with a clear choice.”
While the Republicans have been attending more campaign events recently, neither Giuda nor Bass drew as much support as Democrat Ann McLane Kuster did when she filed in front of at least 50 cheering supporters last week.
However, the few who did turn out to cheer Giuda and Bass — aside from family members and campaign workers — were certainly passionate in their support.
“Conservatism for me is about individual liberty. It has to be an absolute focus on the individual and it means small government and lower taxes, ” said Laura Condon of Bedford, NH. “I have wonderful faith in the American people and believe in the American citizen.
Condon, who cannot vote in the 2nd district election, said it is her faith in citizens that influences her views and gives her confidence in Giuda’s brand of conservatism.
“I don’t believe we’re bad people,” she said. “We are good people. And if we have more of our hard-earned assets, we can do more. And that’s why I believe in Bob.”
—To see photos of the events, click here. —