Manchester State Senator Lou D’Allesandro is often seen as a “primary player.” In fact, The Boston Globe recently listed the influential senator has one of the most important people in the 2008 primary.
This past summer, his west side home became a fixture on the trail when, he hosted various house parties for Democratic presidential candidates.
In an interview with “New Hampshire Presidential Watch,” Senator D’Allesandro told us that he decided to hold the gatherings because “I’ve been involved in the process for a long time and I think it’s imperative that people get to know the candidates.”
When asked about his importance in the primary process, D’Allesandro said “Well you know I’ve been around awhile, I’ve been able to win some elections. I’m just an ordinary guy, a person of moderate means.”
D’Allesandro played a critical role in the 2004 cycle and many are looking for signs to a possible 2008 endorsement.
In the 2004 campaign, D’Allesandro served as the Chairman of the John Edwards New Hampshire campaign and his endorsement made national news with his decision to endorse Edwards. Elizabeth Edwards participated in a September fundraiser for D’Allesandro.
Yet, so far, he has not endorsed the former North Carolina Senator saying, “I just think that I’m looking for the right message from the right candidate.”
D’Allesandro added, “I think that when you’ve run one time and had a platform, his two America speech was very well received, and you come back a second time and you deviate from that theme a little bit, people are a bit static.”
Edwards spokeswoman, Kate Bedingfield, responded “We have chosen to take a grassroots approach to our campaign leadership in New Hampshire this cycle. We have a leadership committee comprised of elected officials, community leaders and enthusiastic activists who represent every corner of New Hampshire. Instead of a top-down, hierarchical structure, we have a team that gives us input from across the state and helps us build the kind of neighbor-to-neighbor support that is going to win New Hampshire for John Edwards.”
Whether or not D’Allesandro’s non-endorsement, of Edwards, means anything, Dante Scala, professor at the University of New Hampshire, said “Tough to say for sure, but one would think that if he were completely sold on Edwards, he would not be waiting.”
Even though campaigns are after his endorsement, Scala warns that his support might not carry that much weight because “As a rule of thumb, endorsements by sitting governors are the most valued endorsements in New Hampshire because governors typically have the most extensive political organizations. After that, it really depends on how much the endorser will labor on behalf of the candidate.”
While the Granite State political establishment awaits his decision, Senator D’Allesandro tells us that he hopes to come to a decision “in early October.”