PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – In one of the most closely watched US Senate races in the country, a New Hampshire Democrat has ended speculation that he might challenge Republican US Senator John E. Sununu in 2008 by endorsing Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand.
Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Yogurt and a nationally prominent Democratic Party fund-raiser, had said he would consider running. His endorsement of Marchand is the most significant development in the campaign so far.
The campaign confirmed the endorsement after the Boston Globe learned of a meeting Tuesday at Stonyfield Yogurt in Londonderry involving Marchand and a group of 15 environmental policy experts. Stonyfield Yogurt markets itself as using only organic foods. A formal campaign announcement is expected today.
Marchand is running against former Congressional candidate Katrina Swett for the Democratic nomination. Former astronaut Jay Buckey and former Governor Jeanne Shaheen, both Democrats, could also enter the race.