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New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu

N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

“My first responsibility is ensuring the safety of my family and our citizens” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a news release. “For weeks, armed protesters have increasingly become more aggressive, targeting my family, protesting outside my private residence, and trespassing on my property — an outdoor public ceremony simply brings too much risk. We do not make this decision lightly but it is the right thing to do.”

In consultation with Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, Sununu said, he and Senate President Chuck Morse, acting House Speaker Sherm Packard and the Executive Council will be sworn in during a small ceremony Jan. 7. It will be attended by leaders of both houses of the Legislature and will be virtually attended by all other members. Sununu will deliver his inaugural address at 7 p.m. that day.

Protesters started gathering outside Sununu’s home in Newfields on Nov. 22 over his order, which had taken effect two days earlier, requiring masks to be worn in public spaces, indoors or outside, when social distancing isn’t possible because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, local police issued summonses to nine people and arrested one of them under a new anti-picketing ordinance passed by the Newfields selectboard, on which Sununu’s brother sits.

— Kathy McCormack in Governor cancels inaugural, citing mask protests at his home

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