Williamson becomes first 2024 presidential hopeful to speak to lawmakers

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Mar. 9—CONCORD — Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson celebrated New Hampshire as a birthplace for civil rights battles in an address to the New Hampshire Senate Thursday.

"New Hampshire has made a lot of difference, taken a lot of stands for justice in our history and I hope you will continue to be that voice," Williamson said, alluding to citizens here leading the national fight for the abolition of slavery and a woman's right to vote.

The best-selling author and California liberal steered clear of taking any swipes at President Joe Biden in her remarks that kicked off a long Senate session.

"We honor every person in this building and outside this building who are standing up" for human rights, Williamson said.

Last weekend, Williamson announced she would be the first 2024 challenger to Biden and spent two days campaigning here.

She reiterated her support for New Hampshire holding the first-in-the-nation primary in 2024 despite Biden's support for the Democratic National Committee's calendar that puts South Carolina first and New Hampshire tied for holding the second contest with Nevada.

Senate President Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, said his intent is to invite all major Democratic and Republican hopefuls to address lawmakers.

"New Hampshire has a long history of vetting presidential candidates as part of our first in the nation primary," Bradley said.

"Whether it's a house party, diner, or the Senate chamber, we ask candidates the tough questions instead of relying on glossy campaign ads. We will continue this process regardless of the Democratic National Committee's attempt to hijack our primary."

Bradley invited Williamson to become the first hopeful to sign a commemorative license plate that he said he will present to Secretary of State David Scanlan once all candidates have visited here.