Fenton launches 'freedom filibuster'

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Jul. 18—MANCHESTER — Republican Senate hopeful Bruce Fenton of Durham holed up in a Manchester hotel room Monday to launch a "freedom filibuster" against gun control.

Fenton, a bitcoin millionaire, said he decided to launch this all-day talk-a-thon, posted directly from his campaign website onto YouTube, to also highlight the need for Congress to keep the filibuster that gives power to the minority to block issues in the U.S. Senate.

"The filibuster is really important to protect liberty in this country," Fenton said from his room at the Even Hotel, 55 John Devine Dr., which he converted for the day into his campaign studio.

The first-time candidate is like all others in this 10-person GOP primary, trying to set himself apart for voters who will pick the nominee on Sept. 13.

The GOP winner faces Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan this November.

"No consultant or focus group would ever advise this because there's no money in it but I think it's about being accountable to voters. Anybody can come to this hotel or go onto YouTube and ask me a question," Fenton said.

Fenton said from the start he's been trying to "mix things up" and be an unconventional candidate.

Vikram shows off fundraising prowess

Another political newcomer, Lincoln entrepreneur Vikram Mansharamani, said his unique pitch was as the candidate who raised the most money from individuals during the second quarter of the campaign.

Mansharamani raised $568,000 in his first three months as a candidate, while Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem raised the second most during that time, $438,000.

"Now with the other candidates in this race reporting their numbers, it's abundantly clear that Vikram has catapulted to become a major contender to win the Republican nomination to defeat out-of-touch Maggie Hassan this November," said Michael Biundo, Mansharamani's campaign consultant.

"It's also clear that some candidates are 'cooking the books' when it comes to declaring their fundraising numbers, trying to hide how poorly they did," he said.

Fenton raised the least amount from other individuals among the major candidates, only $21,000, but the candidate has already donated $1.6 million to his own campaign.

Mansharamani has kicked in $250,000 on his behalf while Morse gave his own campaign $100,000 last month.

On the filibuster, Fenton said the threat is real as President Biden supports suspending it to permit the Senate to pass a bill to enshrine the abortion right protections the U.S. Supreme Court have overturned.

"It is not only the Second Amendment but all our freedoms that are at risk. It is an overarching tyranny we are seeing today," Fenton said.

He hopes to break a modern-day mark like the 13, continuous hours that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul talked on the Senate floor in 2013 to condemn the use of deadly drone attacks on civilians.

Some months later that year, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz put up 21 hours of nearly non-stop speaking against Obamacare.

In 1957, the late, South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond set the record, 24 hours and 18 minutes speaking against the Civil Rights Act.