MEREDITH — Former state Sen. Jeanie Forrester, whose testimony to the Attorney General’s Office during its investigation into allegations against Sen. Andy Sanborn was released under a Right-To-Know request, says it was never about politics.
“Andy would have you believe this is a political disagreement, but this isn’t about not agreeing with his conservative policies; it has nothing to do with that,” she said. “There are a lot of things we’re very like-minded on. My biggest concern with Andy is he doesn’t seem to acknowledge or understand that his comments are inappropriate.”
Transcripts from the investigation show that Forrester was so concerned about Sanborn’s behavior that she intervened on behalf of a staff member.
Forrester and Sanborn shared a female staff member who expressed concerns to Forrester about some comments Sanborn made that were sexual in nature to which the staffer took offense. Forrester said she brought those concerns to Senate President Chuck Morse.
“What I really appreciate as part of the leadership team is Sen. Morse really took this serious, and understands that these employees of ours, you can be intimidating to them,” Forrester said. “I learned my first year there that you have to be very conscious of your role and position.”
She said Sanborn’s actions were “wholly unbecoming of an elected official, and he doesn’t get that.”
Sanborn did not respond to two phone calls and an email seeking comment.
Forrester said the #MeToo movement has highlighted that employees who are subjected to those kinds of comments are put in an uncomfortable position because they don’t want to lose their jobs.
Although the alleged behavior took place prior to #MeToo, Forrester said, “I felt I needed to be an advocate for her.”
Forrester said people should not think her endorsement of Sanborn’s opponent, Eddie Edwards, for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District seat is evidence of a political agenda.
“Whether I supported Eddie or anyone else, it’s not about not supporting [Sanborn’s] candidacy, because I don’t think that’s the type of person, with his behavior, it’s not somebody I’d want representing me,” she said.