Q: First off, what led you to the unorthodox decision to launch a campaign while still a senior in college, and what challenges has that presented?
A: It really was a specific moment. I remember I was working at my dad’s office over winter break (medical chart scanning – very mundane) and as I was reading the local news of the day, I saw that the New Hampshire House had voted on party lines by a vote of 170-169 – with the Republican Speaker breaking the tie – to reject a Senate bill that would have banned conversion therapy on LGBT minors. The Republicans, including two of my district’s three Representatives, voted against the ban. I was furious, and, after thinking long and hard over the next few days and consulting with political friends I’ve made in the area, decided to run for the House of Representatives to represent my town of Bow, as well as the neighboring town of Dunbarton. As for the challenges, trying to enjoy the last days of senior year, applying for jobs in New Hampshire AND the D.C. Metro Area if the election doesn’t go well, and taking 5 classes has been daunting, to say the least. Less than two weeks away from the last day of classes, I can say I’ve nearly survived!
Q: Can you synthesize your platform for those not familiar with the nitty-gritty of your district’s politics?
A: My platform most closely aligns with the state and federal lawmakers for whom I’ve served. I campaigned in the summer and worked as a National Security Intern in the fall for former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who ran again in 2016 but lost her reelection bid by just over 1,000 votes. After that I worked for a moderate Republican state Senator, David Boutin, who also lost his special election in July of last year. My district is mostly middle- to upper-middle class white, white-collar, and working age. In the 2016 election, Bow and Dunbarton voted for Senator Ayotte but voted for Secretary Clinton over Donald Trump. I’m very much cut from the same cloth; I have vowed to work with the Democrats on climate change initiatives, like strengthening our clean energy compact with the other New England states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, supporting local solutions to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, and funding critical social and health programs. At the state and federal level, I’ve always believed in the pragmatic approach of mediation, conciliation, and compromising to solve even our biggest problems.
Q: You hold some unconventional views for a Republican candidate for office, namely on a woman’s right to choose, while supporting some more mainline GOP principles in issue areas such as taxation. Has a polarized voter base made it hard to push a moderate agenda?
A: At this early stage, yes. Most of the Republicans who are discovering my campaign now are far-right Republicans who may be single-issue voters – usually for tax or gun policy. They love to speak their mind over social media. Then there are moderates who think I’m too conservative. By the general election, hopefully I will have talked to every voter and delivered my unique vision for New Hampshire, and the vote won’t be for the party but for the person.
Q: Piggy-backing off of that, has the divisive (to put it kindly) administration in Washington made it difficult to preach the bi-partisan message your campaign does?
A: Oh absolutely. Any support of Trump is treated like a bad case of leprosy by any moderate and left-leaning folks, while any support of our state’s all-female, all-Democratic Congressional delegation is seen as confirming my pariah status as a RINO (Republican In Name Only). But New Hampshire has always been winnable for either party, because I believe our natural predilection to politics through the First-In-The-Nation Primary imbues within Granite Staters a keen ability to tell fact from fiction, and vote for the politician who won’t be overly partisan. A good campaign overcomes any odds by staying on message and being disciplined in the delivery.
Q: Other than being a former editor of The Spire, which is obviously the most important, what other aspects of your Holy Cross experience have prepared you for this campaign and, presumably, a life in politics?
A: The Washington Semester Program without a doubt solidified my love of politics. If I hadn’t continued working for Kelly in the fall in her Washington office and handled her national security portfolio with her National Security Advisor, Bradley Bowman, I wouldn’t have the confidence to launch a run for the Statehouse at age 22 and gather the right people around me to make it happen. The emphasis on writing all four years atop Mount St. James and that program together have given me all the tools I need to succeed in civic life.
Q: When’s the election and how can those interested in helping get involved?
A: The Republican Primary is September 11th, and the general election is November 6th. Like my campaign Facebook Page, “Christopher Fox for District 23 NH House of Representatives”, check out my website, ChristopherFoxFor23.com, and find ways to support the campaign on the “Contact” tab of my website. It really helps!