2nd District NH rivals both claim bipartisan label

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 10:30 am •  Published: November 3, 2012
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"This is really the highest priority," he said.

Bass says he would bring his Republican principles to the negotiating table to try to come up with a solution that reflects those values as closely as possible.

Bass and Kuster present voters with clear choices on issues such as Medicare, tax reform and the Affordable Care Act.

Kuster points to Bass votes in support of GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's budget as evidence of his willingness to end Medicare guarantees; he insists he supports preserving Medicare but says the program must change to be saved.

He supports renewing tax cuts set to expire, including for the wealthy; she opposes giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.

She supports the federal health care overhaul but believes Congress now needs to tackle costs by better coordinating care; Bass opposes the law's implementation, arguing it would be devastating to employers in a poor economy.

They do agree that it is time to bring troops home from Afghanistan.

Bass, 60, of Peterborough, served 10 years in the New Hampshire House and Senate before winning the 2nd District seat in 1994. He served six terms before losing to Democrat Paul Hodes in 2006. After his defeat, he worked as a consultant in the alternative energy field and served as president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a nonprofit advocacy group. He was re-elected to Congress in 2010 when he beat Kuster in a close race.

Kuster, 56, of Hopkinton has been an attorney, lobbyist and community activist. She has specialized in adoptions as well as improving access to quality health care and affordable higher education. She wrote a book with her mother, state Sen. Susan McLane, titled "The Last Dance: Facing Alzheimer's with Love and Laughter." Her mother, who suffered from the disease, died in 2005.