GOP Gov Cancels Inaugural Ceremony Over Armed Protesters Outside His Home

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) speaks at the Axios News Shapers event on the U.S. education system on February 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
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December 30, 2020 5:01 p.m.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) on Wednesday announced that he is canceling his outdoor inauguration ceremony next month, citing “ongoing public safety concerns” over armed protesters who have gathered outside his home in recent weeks following a mask order he issued last month.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Sununu said that armed protesters outside his home have become “more aggressive” as they targeted his family. Sununu argued that the outdoor inaugural ceremony originally scheduled next month would “simply bring too much risk.”

Sununu added that the decision wasn’t made lightly and that there will be a small swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 7 attended by leaders of both houses of the Legislature. All other members will virtually attend. Sununu will deliver his inaugural address in the evening.

Two days after Sununu issued his order last month requiring masks to be worn in public spaces in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, protesters began gathering outside the New Hampshire governor’s home.

Protests outside of Sununu’s home continued in recent weeks. On Monday, police issued summonses to nine people and arrested one of them under a new anti-picketing ordinance passed by the selectboard in Newfields, the town of the governor’s home, which Sununu’s brother sits on, the AP reported.

Sununu’s spokesperson, Benjamin Vihstadt, denied in a statement that Sununu was involved in the ordinance or in its involvement.

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