You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
Local
featured top story
Police looking for Vermont man after crash, lockdown in Walpole

Police say they’re continuing to look for a Vermont man — who has warrants for his arrest out of that state and Massachusetts — after he allegedly fled a crash scene in Walpole Wednesday, triggering schools and businesses in the area to go into lockdown.

At about 10:30 a.m., a be-on-the-lookout alert was issued via the Cheshire County dispatch center for a silver Mercedes with Vermont registration after its driver fled from a motor vehicle stop in Brattleboro, according to a news release from Walpole Police Chief Michael J. Paquette.

Westminster, Vt., resident Zachariah A. McAllister, 28, was reportedly behind the wheel, the release says.

About 20 minutes later, police spotted the vehicle heading north on Route 12 in Walpole at an estimated speed of more than 100 miles per hour, Paquette said in the release. The driver tried to turn right onto South Street, where the Mercedes collided with a Nissan Sentra, Paquette wrote.

The Sentra’s driver — who the release identifies only as a 72 year-old woman from Walpole — was taken to the hospital, according to Janet Clough, an administrator for the police department. Clough said she could not confirm the woman’s condition and declined to release her name until police have more information.

Following the crash, McAllister allegedly fled the scene on foot.

Walpole elementary and primary schools, on Bemis Lane and Bemis Lane extension, were placed under lockdown by the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office at about 11:20 a.m. as a precaution, according to a statement from the Fall Mountain Regional School District.

Superintendent Lori Landry “worked closely with the local law enforcement agencies, administration and local media to keep everyone informed of the situation as things progressed,” the statement, emailed to The Sentinel shortly before 2 p.m., said.

Walpole Village School, a daycare and preschool on Westminster Street, was likewise put under lockdown, according to a Facebook post from the Walpole Police Department.

The lockdown advisory for businesses and schools was lifted at about 1 p.m., according to Paquette, because McAllister was then thought to be in Vermont.

McAllister, whose license is suspended, fled the Brattleboro traffic stop after being told he was under arrest, according to a news release from the Brattleboro Police Department. He has multiple prior convictions for driving with a suspended license, the release said.

Court records show he also has a pending criminal case in Windham County, Vt., alleging he drove an ATV and a motorcycle on Morse Brook Road in Westminster July 5, despite his suspended license.

He was cited for the misdemeanor offense and given an Aug. 20 court date, which he failed to appear for, according to court records.

Known to police

McAllister has eluded the authorities at least twice before, according to statements by police and news reports.

Two winters ago, a Bellows Falls woman was charged with giving false information to thwart a police search for McAllister on Dec. 22, 2017. McAllister was wanted on burglary and other charges, according to a news release from Vermont State Police at the time. Vermont State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service located and arrested McAllister the following February, according to a police log published in the Brattleboro Reformer.

The underlying charges were later dismissed, court records show.

In 2013, according to another report in the Reformer, McAllister pleaded guilty to a 2011 burglary and other charges, and agreed to delay his sentencing to receive substance-misuse treatment. He was kicked out of the treatment program after a week — because he took a heartburn pill, he claimed — and evaded police for another month before his arrest, according to the Reformer. He was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

McAllister has also been convicted of aggravated domestic assault, a felony, and simple assault, a misdemeanor, in Vermont.

In New Hampshire in 2013, McAllister pleaded guilty in Sullivan County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of theft by unauthorized taking, according to a case summary from the court.

Calm caution

People at businesses in downtown Walpole said they weren’t necessarily shaken by Wednesday’s incident, but still made safety their top priority.

Sandy Shattuck, manager of Walpole Village Market on Main Street, said she was cautious before letting customers in.

“We had both doors locked, a sign on the front door saying to please use the back door, and if someone knocked, and if we recognized them, we’d let them in,” she said. “We tried not to disrupt business totally, but we were concerned about everyone’s safety.”

Just in front of the store at Jake’s Market and Deli, also on Main Street, owner Joan Ireland said they welcomed people inside because she didn’t want anyone “left on the street.” She also warned customers of the potential danger, and encouraged them to stay in the store if they could.

Selectman Peggy Pschirrer said she had just returned home from town hall when she heard word over some type of loudspeaker that people should lock their doors and stay inside.

She said she received updates from authorities and had full faith in everyone involved.

“I had complete confidence in their ability to handle everything and to keep us safe,” she said.

McAllister is believed to have crossed the Connecticut River into Vermont, according to the news release from Paquette.

Agencies that assisted Walpole police Wednesday include the town’s fire department, Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office, N.H. and Vermont State Police, the N.H. and Vermont Fish and Game departments, and police from Alstead, Charlestown, Chesterfield and Troy, as well as Bellows Falls and Chester, Vt. Keene police also responded with the department’s armored BearCat vehicle.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Walpole Police Department at 445-2058 or walpolepd@walpolenh.us, the Brattleboro Police Department at 802-257-7950 or the Westminster barracks of Vermont State Police at 802-722-4600. Vermont State Police stress that tips should be credible.


National_world
Purdue Pharma reaches tentative settlement in federal lawsuit and some state litigation

Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the blockbuster painkiller OxyContin, reached a tentative settlement Wednesday with 23 states and more than 2,000 cities and counties that sued the company over its role in the opioid crisis, according to attorneys involved in the deal.

Cheshire County and Keene are among the cities and counties that sued Purdue and other drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Cheshire County Administrator Christopher C. Coates said in an email Wednesday that the county and Keene would both be part of the settlement.

The executive committee of lawyers representing cities, counties and other groups in a federal lawsuit against Purdue and other drug companies is recommending the deal be accepted. But more than half the state attorneys general in the U.S. balked, saying they planned to continue pursuing the company and its owners, the Sackler family.

Under terms of a plan negotiated for months, the Sacklers would relinquish control of Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma and admit no wrongdoing. The company would declare bankruptcy and be resurrected as a trust whose main purpose would be producing medications to combat the opioid epidemic.

If the deal becomes final, it would be the first comprehensive settlement in the broad effort to hold drug companies accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic. To date, Purdue has also settled with one state, Oklahoma, for $270 million, and won a victory when a North Dakota judge threw out that state’s case against the company.

The deal also would mark the demise of Purdue as a private company widely blamed for its role in driving the prescription opioid epidemic in the late 1990s and the first years of this century. In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading doctors and the public about the safety of OxyContin and paid a $635 million fine.

The prescription drug epidemic has taken more than 200,000 lives via overdoses since 1999, according to federal statistics. An additional 200,000 deaths are blamed on overdoses from heroin and illegal fentanyl smuggled into the country from China and Mexico.

On Wednesday, the divide over the settlement broke down largely along party lines, with most Republican state attorneys general in favor of it and Democrats largely opposed. The states openly opposing the deal — including New Hampshire, California, Connecticut, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania — could take their objections to bankruptcy court and tie up the proceedings for years, some experts said.

“These people are among the most responsible for the trail of death and destruction the opioid epidemic has left in its wake,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who plans to sue the Sacklers personally.

“This apparent settlement is a slap in the face to everyone who has had to bury a loved one due to this family’s destruction and greed,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “It allows the Sackler family to walk away billionaires and admit no wrongdoing.”

But Republican attorneys general, Dave Yost of Ohio and Ken Paxton of Texas, backed the agreement.

“The proposed settlement with Purdue provides the greatest certainty for all Ohioans to receive relief as quickly as possible in light of rumored bankruptcy,” said Yost spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle.

In addition to 23 states, four territories supported the deal. Paxton said it would “secure billions in funding to address opioid addiction across the nation, and permanently remove the Sackler family from the pharmaceutical industry.”

In a statement, Purdue said it “continues to work with all plaintiffs on reaching a comprehensive resolution to its opioid litigation that will deliver billions of dollars and vital opioid overdose rescue medicines to communities across the country impacted by the opioid crisis.”

Members of the Mortimer Sackler and Raymond Sackler families issued a statement saying that “the family supports working toward a global resolution that directs resources to the patients, families and communities across the country who are suffering and need assistance. This is the most effective way to address the urgency of the current public health crisis and to fund real solutions, not endless litigation.”

The deal was said to be worth $10 billion to $12 billion, including a guarantee of $3 billion payment from the Sacklers over seven years. That could be financed at least in part by the sale of the family’s international drug conglomerate, Mundipharma, according to an analysis of the deal reviewed by The Washington Post. If the Sacklers earn more than $3 billion from that sale, part of it would go to the plaintiffs as well, according to a provision of the settlement.

The federal plaintiffs and many attorneys general believed the proposal was as good as they could get. The lawyers for the cities and counties agreed to recommend they “move forward in support of the current proposal, subject to satisfactory documentation of the essential terms and final documents,” said Paul Hanly Jr., Paul Farrell Jr. and Joseph Rice, three of the leaders of that group. “We feel good progress has and will continue to be made.”

But some states objected that the Sacklers were not contributing enough cash from their personal fortunes, built largely on the sale of OxyContin and taken out of the company in recent years, according to court papers filed by some states.

Another major concern is that the deal relies in significant measure on the assumed value of Purdue’s assets and the sale of its global drug company.

“The $10 to $12 billion figures are vaporous,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat. “I have not seen a deal that would yield anywhere close to those kinds of returns.”

Still pending is the mammoth federal case in Cleveland against other drug manufacturers, distributors and retail pharmacy chains, known as a “multidistrict litigation” or MDL. In that case, the lawsuits from cities, counties, Indian tribes, hospitals and other groups have been consolidated. Judge Dan Aaron Polster has presided over that litigation, urging the parties to settle before trial so that money can be funneled quickly into drug treatment, emergency care, law enforcement and other local needs.

The federal trial is scheduled to begin in mid-October with two test cases, Cuyahoga and Summit counties, as the first plaintiffs. Meanwhile, the more than 40 lawsuits against drug companies are wending their way through state courts. Purdue would be eliminated from those cases where a settlement is finalized. A growing number of states also have sued the Sackler family personally.

Oklahoma, the first state to go to trial, last month won a $572 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson. In addition to settling with Purdue before the trial, it reached an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals, a generic drugmaker, for $85 million.

In another development Wednesday, Polster certified a plan that could allow every municipality in the nation to share in the proceeds if a settlement is reached with all the drug companies. Plaintiffs’ attorneys had proposed the novel arrangement to bolster the chances of a sweeping settlement.

Polster called the creation of this negotiation class a “powerful, creative and helpful” option and reiterated that he hopes it leads to a settlement that would “expedite relief to communities so they can better address this devastating national health crisis.”

Although the state cases are not in Polster’s jurisdiction, he has urged a broad settlement that includes them.

“There’s an incredible incentive to make a deal before bankruptcy, because that would make the process much less expensive for the states and cities,” said Adam Zimmerman, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. If Purdue sought bankruptcy protection without a settlement, “we might see any kind of arrangement tied up in bankruptcy court for a very long time.” “It could be years,” he added.

Yost, who wants the states to control the legal effort against the pharmaceutical industry, has asked a federal appeals court to delay or halt the federal trial. Another 13 states and the District of Columbia have filed briefs in support of that effort, according to Yost’s office.

Yost criticized using two Ohio counties as “bellwether” cases, saying they represent only a tiny portion of the state’s 88 counties.

“The rest of Ohio — and Ohio itself — is being left behind in the MDL lawsuit in Cleveland,” he said in a statement late last month. “The hardest-hit counties of Appalachia and the vast majority of the state are being asked to take a number and wait — and that wait could delay or prevent justice.”

Zimmerman characterized the conflict as a struggle for control of the legal process.

“I think the main motivation [for Yost] has to do with who holds the balance of power with respect to negotiating a global settlement,” he said. “This is kind of a Hail Mary.”


Local
featured top story
With nearly five dozen candidates, Keene city races take shape

Nearly 60 Keene residents have filed to put their names on the ballot in the city election this year, including three mayoral candidates and more than two dozen contenders spread across 11 council seats.

Almost all elected positions in the city come with a two-year term, including the mayor, at-large councilors and election officers. The exception is ward councilors, who serve staggered four-year terms.

Though the period to declare one’s candidacy ended Tuesday, residents can still file by petition through 5 p.m. Friday. There’s no fee, but the petition must include 50 signatures from voters registered in the part of the city the candidate would represent. Paperwork is available at the city clerk’s office.

As of the Tuesday deadline, there are three candidates in the mayoral race: Ward 2 Councilor Mitchell H. Greenwald, 67, owner of Greenwald Realty Associates; At-large Councilor George S. Hansel, 33, co-owner and operations manager at Filtrine Manufacturing Co.; and Nobody, 50, a computer programmer who was known as Rich Paul before legally changing his name.

Thirteen people are running for five councilor-at-large seats, including incumbents Kate M. Bosley, 40, general manager of Comfort Keepers; Bettina A. Chadbourne, 60, self-employed; and Randy L. Filiault, 63, who works in sales. Ward 1 Councilor Stephen L. Hooper, a professional photographer and owner of Hooper Visuals, will not seek a second term in his position and is instead running at large.

The other nine candidates are:

Anthony Boame, 25, a digital sales representative at The Keene Sentinel

Ian Freeman, 39, founder of the Bitcoin Embassy in Keene and host of the radio show “Free Talk Live”

Allen Raymond, 28, produce manager at the Monadnock Food Co-op

Michael J. Remy, 30, director of operations finance at C&S Wholesale Grocers

Matthew D. “Matt” Roach, 43, area representative for Trupanion pet insurance

Todd A. Rogers, 51, self-employed contractor and owner of Life Construction

Peter A. Starkey, 27, executive director of Monadnock Peer Support and former Keene Board of Education member

Nathaniel M. Stout, 67, a former city councilor and recently retired communications professional

John W. Therriault, 65, a beekeeper and retired general manager of high-tech businesses

Since each of the city’s five wards has two councilors with staggered terms, there are typically five ward councilors on the ballot every two years. There’s a sixth ward seat up for grabs in this election, however, with a two-year term due to the midterm resignation of then-Ward 4 Councilor Margaret M. “Maggie” Rice.

Ward 1

Two residents declared their candidacy for Hooper’s council seat: Robert S. Crowell, 66, a retired captain of the Keene Fire Department, and Raleigh Ormerod, who was not reachable for comment Wednesday evening.

Each ward has several election officers: moderator, clerk, checklist supervisor and three selectmen. Those on the ballot in Ward 1 include the following:

Colin R. “Bob” Lyle for moderator

Elizabeth C. Sayre for clerk

Jane Ellsworth for checklist supervisor

Kim Maleski and Ruzzel Zullo for selectmen

Ward 2

Councilor Carl B. Jacobs announced he would not run for re-election and filed for selectman of his ward instead. Four people will face off for his seat.

Aria DiMezzo, whose legal name is James Baker, 32, is an author and a co-host of “Free Talk Live.” Teresa “Terri” O’Rorke is semi-retired after a career as an emergency medical technician and is an author. She wasn’t reachable for comment Wednesday to confirm her age. Robert C. “Bobby” Williams, 42, is a software developer. Erik D. Willis, 43, is a cook at the Monadnock Food Co-op and calls himself a “budding entrepreneur.”

Election officers on the ballot include the following:

Matthew McKeon for moderator

Jamie L.J. White for clerk

Linda Haas for checklist supervisor

And five people for three selectmen slots: Councilor Jacobs, Robert Beard, Wesley J. Cobb, Charles “Chuck” Weed and Nancy Wilkinson

Ward 3

Councilor David C. Richards, 55, senior security manager at C&S Wholesale Grocers, has no challengers for his seat.

Election officers on the ballot include the following:

Lucinda McKeon for moderator

Kathleen M. Richards for clerk

Carol A. Lynch for checklist supervisor

John McKeon and Charles “Charlie” Stone for selectmen

Ward 4

Councilor Robert B. Sutherland, 53, didn’t declare his candidacy by Tuesday’s deadline. He told The Sentinel Aug. 25 that he intended to run again, but hadn’t made a final decision.

Sutherland, who works in business development in the market research industry, wrote in a text message Wednesday evening that, if he gains enough write-in votes in the Oct. 8 primary to make it into the general election Nov. 5, he might reconsider running again.

Robert J. Call and Gladys Johnsen, a former state representative, are vying for his seat. Neither was reachable for comment Wednesday evening.

For the midterm vacancy in Ward 4, Robert J. O’Connor, 50, a former councilor and career law enforcement officer, was elected by the council Aug. 1 to serve until the end of the calendar year. He is running to retake the seat in the November election and will face Conan Salada, 40, a rural post office carrier and an online reseller, and Catherine “Catt” Workman, 35, a welfare eligibility worker with the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.

Election officers on the ballot include the following:

Ellen Wishart for moderator

Claudette Nicholas for clerk

Claire Coey for checklist supervisor

Nancy Ancharski, Paul Krautmann and Margaret Simonds for selectmen

Ward 5

Councilor Thomas F. Powers, a semi-retired former Keene police chief, is running unopposed for a third term in office.

Election officers on the ballot include the following:

James Fay for moderator

Barbara Berry for clerk

Sylvie L. Rice for checklist supervisor

Richard Berry, Nancy Lane Stone and Sandra VandeKauter for selectmen


Local
top story
Democratic debate
Narrowed field of Democrats to take the stage tonight in debate

Bernie Sanders

After the first two rounds of Democratic presidential debates earlier this summer — which saw back-to-back nights of 10 candidates each — tonight’s ABC programming will offer the most pared-down debate so far this cycle.

This third round in Houston will be a single night with 10 candidates on stage after the Democratic National Committee doubled the polling and individual donor thresholds required to make the cut.

Sixteen Democrats remain in the race, while some once-hopefuls — such as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper — have dropped out.

Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, offered “professor’s notes” on what to look out for tonight, as the candidates go head-to-head for three hours.

Order reflects how candidates will appear on stage alternating from left to right, starting with those polling lowest nationally in the wings down to the highest polling in the middle. (New Hampshire polling averages are from the RealClear politics algorithm.)

Amy Klobuchar

Background: The senior U.S. senator from Minnesota, Klobuchar was previously the Hennepin County attorney before becoming the first woman elected to one of Minnesota’s Senate seats.

Visits to the region: Four, an April visit to Peterborough’s Waterhouse Restaurant, a May speech as the keynote speaker of the Cheshire County Democrats’ annual spaghetti dinner in Keene, an August stop in Greenfield for the Hillsborough County Democrats’ Summer Picnic and a business roundtable followed by a Q&A town hall at Stonewall Farm in Keene.

N.H. polling average: 1.6 percent.

What’s changed: After rolling out her 137 bullet-point agenda of priorities for her potential first 100 days in the White House in June, Klobuchar has made plans to open a Keene field office, released a plan for rural America and expanded her ground game in the Granite State. Klobuchar appeared on The Sentinel’s politics podcast, Pod Free or Die, in August.

Professor’s note from Scala: “She needs to present herself as a moderate alternative, or a potential Joe Biden replacement, more assertively ... She doesn’t necessarily need to go after Biden, but she needs to start drawing more of a contrast between herself and the more progressive candidates, and explain how someone who is moderately liberal like herself, why she would be the better nominee for the party.”

Julián Castro

Background: Former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama and former mayor of San Antonio.

Visits to the region: Two, an April visit to Keene State and an August stop in Greenfield for the Hillsborough County Democrats’ picnic.

N.H. polling average: 0.6 percent.

What’s changed: After having a breakout moment in the first debate, Castro has remained stagnant in the polls as he focuses on his main policy areas of immigration and affordable housing, the latter plan drawing praise from local advocates for its attention to rural housing.

Professor’s note: “Castro is trying to find some leverage or a toehold in this race. I think he needs to start explaining the importance of Latinos and Latinas to the Democratic coalition.”

Cory Booker

Background: Junior U.S. senator from New Jersey and formerly the mayor of Newark. A Rhodes scholar and graduate of Stanford University — where he played tight end on the football team — Booker’s background has been in community organizing since attending law school at Yale.

Visits to the region: Three, two as a declared candidate in May at a house party in Keene and in August at the Hillsborough County Democrats’ picnic, and previously during his exploratory-committee phase in December, with another house party in the Elm City.

N.H. polling average: 1.6 percent.

What’s changed: Booker has kept championing his baby bonds proposal, which he discussed with The Sentinel on Pod Free or Die, and recently rolled out a climate change proposal. His inspirational message and ground game drew praise from local party devotees at the N.H. Democratic Party Convention last weekend in Manchester.

Professor’s note: “He needs to get out of the shadow of [Elizabeth] Warren and [Bernie] Sanders, and present himself as someone who can be electable like Biden, but a younger, more vibrant version of Biden.”

Beto O’Rourke

Background: A former three-term congressman from Texas and former member of the El Paso City Council, O’Rourke rose to national prominence in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

Visits to the region: Three, a town hall event at Keene State in March, a July anti-child separation protest rally in Peterborough, and a return to Keene State last week.

N.H. polling average: 1.2 percent.

What’s changed: After the Aug. 3 shooting in his hometown of El Paso, O’Rourke took a reprieve from the trail and returned with a more fervent message on gun control, proposing a mandatory buyback of assault weapons. At Keene State last week, he told The Sentinel he would not send federal agents to retrieve the firearms.

Professor’s note: “Well, the question I have about Beto is: Does he really think he can be the nominee of the Democratic Party? ... If the answer to that is no, then I guess he’s in it to deliver a message about guns, about white nationalism ... and almost being the conscience of the debate.”

Pete Buttigieg

Background: Mayor of South Bend, Ind.; served in Iraq as an intelligence officer in the Navy. Buttigieg is a former Rhodes scholar and would be the first openly gay president.

Visits to the region: Three, once in February at the Orchard School and Community Center in Alstead before declaring his candidacy, then as an official candidate in May at Keene High School and an August house party in Hancock.

N.H. polling average: 7.6 percent.

What’s changed: After emerging from obscurity and solidifying a spot in the top tier of polling candidates, Buttigieg has debuted a slew of policy proposals, drawing praise locally for his rural health care and rural economy plans. He also opened a Keene field office earlier this month and released a climate change plan.

Professor’s note: “I think at this point, he’s got to be thinking about how — in a positive way — to start building bridges to other parts of the Democratic Party besides the niche that he’s found, I think especially with kind of working-class, blue-collar white voters.”

Andrew Yang

Background: Tech entrepreneur and philanthropist from New York.

Visits to the region: Four, last year in June at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship in Keene and this February at The Works Café in the Elm City before a stop at Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough. Yang was also the first guest on Pod Free or Die, and more recently attended the Hillsborough County Democrats’ picnic and made a a late-August visit to Keene State.

N.H. polling average: 2.8 percent.

What’s changed: Yang’s fervent online following, dubbed the #YangGang, has turned out in person at events, including at Yang’s recent Keene State stop. He has been steadily gaining in the polls, and his campaign promises he will do something on stage tonight “no presidential candidate has ever done before in history,” in a cryptic message to The Daily Beast.

Professor’s note: “You know, Yang’s just gotta be Yang. I think he had a good second debate, I think he knows what he’s about in terms of delivering his particular message on [universal basic income] ... He can be the person who focuses on technology and innovative policies for the next century.”

Bernie Sanders

Background: Junior U.S. senator from Vermont, formerly the at-large congressman for Vermont and mayor of Burlington; runner-up in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary; remains an independent but caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.

Visits to the region: Two, a full-house rally at The Colonial Theatre in Keene in March and another packed rally at the Peterborough Town House in August.

N.H. polling average: 21 percent.

What’s changed: Not much, though voters in Peterborough noted a slight shift in his rhetoric to more personal stories instead of abstract policy lectures. Sanders also gave his first one-on-one interview with The Sentinel at the convention.

Professor’s note: “I think Sanders — now that he’s got Biden [alongside him] on the stage — I think he goes after him. I think he, unlike Warren, may not have as much to lose by going aggressively after Biden. So I think he does kind of a reprise of what he did with Hillary Clinton [in 2016], and I think we could see some fireworks.”

Kamala Harris

Background: Junior U.S. senator from California; former California attorney general and former San Francisco district attorney.

Visits to the region: One, an April town hall at Keene State College, which required an overflow room.

N.H. polling average: 7.2 percent.

What’s changed: After seeing a surge in the polls after the first debate, Harris is more or less where she started beforehand after being put on the defensive over her health care plan and prosecutorial record in the second debate. She has launched a Keene field office, and was on the shortlist of some local Democrats at the convention.

Professor’s note: “I think what she has to be concerned about is the [moderators] will be throwing questions at her about her viability, so she’s gotta find a way to blow past that, and again, try to find a way to square up against Biden or perhaps against Warren and make her case again. She needs a moment, because it’s been a long time between moments for her.”

Elizabeth Warren

Background: Senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts; previously a Harvard Law School professor of bankruptcy law and adviser to federal oversight programs.

Visits to the region: Two, a Keene State College town hall in April and a packed rally at the Peterborough Town House in July.

N.H. polling average: 18.2 percent.

What’s changed: A lot. Warren has had steady, almost uninterrupted momentum in polling since the first two debates, and drew the loudest applause of any candidate at the convention. Her large crowds and long line of policy proposals have vaulted her into the top tier.

Professor’s note: “I think Warren has to be prepared this time for, perhaps, being on the defensive for the first time. I’m not counting John Delaney going after her [at the first debate], but actually facing — probably from Biden, maybe from Harris, maybe from Sanders, or, you know, one of the other moderates — but facing more of an affront, given that her press and her media has been so good over the past month, that she may face some sort of attack from a major player.”

Joe Biden

Background: Former vice president; ran for president in 1988 and 2008 and was the U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973-2009.

Visits to the region: One, a Keene State rally in late August.

N.H. polling average: 21.4 percent.

What’s changed: In polling, Biden has remained the front-runner, but has come under increased media scrutiny over gaffes, as well as attacks from his opponents over his lengthy record in Washington. Biden also appeared on Pod Free or Die after the Keene State rally.

Professor’s note: “Well, he’s basically on probation, I think — on watch — this debate, every debate going forward, in the sense that I think he’s kind of stuck in a cycle where the press is going to be watching him most of all for any kind of gaffe, mistake, signs of old age — whatever you want to call it.”


Laura Chase de Formigny 

Laura Chase de Formigny / The Washington Post

Cod with arugula and charred scallion vinaigrette.