Molly M. Kelly of Harrisville received the recommendation of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association Monday in her bid for governor, according to a news release from Kelly’s campaign.

The union represents more than 17,000 teachers and other public school personnel throughout the state, the release said.

“Molly Kelly has always been a champion for public school education, and we enthusiastically support her to be our next governor,” chapter President Megan Tuttle said in the release. “Instead of pushing a school voucher program that would weaken public schools, we know Molly will work to strengthen public education, support teachers and ensure every child can earn a quality education.”

School vouchers have been a hot-button issue in New Hampshire. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu was a high-profile supporter of Senate Bill 193, a controversial piece of legislation that would have established an “education savings account” program, allowing families to use state education funding for private and home schooling.

Supporters say the bill would have provided more options for students, while detractors argue it would have wrongly siphoned funds from public schools.

SB 193 took a tortuous path through the Statehouse, eventually being amended onto a separate piece of legislation before failing to pass in the House.

Members of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association announced their support for Kelly during a campaign event at Beaver Meadow School in Concord Monday.

Kelly is a former longtime state senator who represented the Monadnock Region in District 10. The district covers Alstead, Chesterfield, Gilsum, Harrisville, Hinsdale, Keene, Marlborough, Nelson, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland and Winchester.

She is one of two candidates seeking the N.H. Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination. The other, former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand, previously ran for governor in 2016.

Sununu, a first-term governor, is running for re-election. Jilletta Jarvis of Sandown is running as a Libertarian.

The primary is Sept. 11, ahead of the general election Nov. 6.

William Holt can be reached at 352-1234 extension 1435, or wholt@keenesentinel.com.