Jeb Bradley, Republican state senator for District 3, has been in politics long enough to know that campaigning, whether for an office or an issue, always involves a bit of show business. Standing in the bright sun in front of the State House in early September last year, Bradley looked out at the assembled crowd of hundreds of loggers, foresters, sawmill operations, biomass energy plant employees, renewable energy advocates, and other supporters of Senate Bill 365 and then strode up to the microphone at the podium as if Judgement was at hand. “Are you fired up?” he bellowed. “I said, ARE YOU FIRED UP??” The crowd shouted in response. “That’s good,” he said. “BECAUSE I SURE AM!”
The Sept. 6, 2018, rally was the culmination of a summer-long campaign to override Governor Chris Sununu’s veto of SB 365, which earlier had easily passed both the N.H. Senate and House with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. The bill requires Eversource, the state’s largest utility, to establish power contracts with the state’s six independent biomass energy plants, and was considered crucial legislation to support New Hampshire’s woodchip and low-grade wood markets. Without those markets, which in turn are supported by the biomass plants, the long-term viability of the state’s forest-products industry, which is the third-largest manufacturing industry in New Hampshire, was open to question.
Sen. Bradley’s unflagging support for SB 365, and his leadership of a coalition that included Sen. Bob Guida, Sen. Ruth Ward, and political leaders of both parties, was crucial not just to the bill’s success in the legislature but also to the override campaign, which ultimately proved successful when the Governor’s veto of SB 365 was overridden on Sept. 13, 2018, by a two-thirds majority by the margin of a single vote.
For his tireless efforts on behalf of SB 365 and for his longtime support of New Hampshire’s forest-products industry, Sen. Bradley is honored this year with the NHTOA President’s Award.
“I think it’s safe to say that without Jeb’s support and hard work, our industry would not be in the viable position it is in today,” said Jasen Stock, NHTOA’s executive director. “He has been a true friend — always reliable, always generous with valuable advice, and never burdened by partisanship. He truly has the best interests of the industry and of the state at heart. It is a pleasure for the NHTOA to work with leaders like Jeb.”
Sen Bradley was born in Rumford, Me., and is a graduate of Tufts University. He lived in Switzerland as a young man and worked as a street magician. In 1981 he opened an organic grocery called Evergrain Natural Foods. He is reluctant to say if there are any existing photos of him in tie-dye. He has lived in Wolfeboro, N.H., for decades.
Bradley was first elected to the State Senate in a special election in 2009 after serving in the N.H. House from 1991-2002. He was U.S. Representative for New Hampshire’s congressional District 1 from 2002 through 2006. Earlier in his career he served on Wolfeboro’s planning and budgeting boards. In the State Senate, he presently serves on the Capital Budget, Energy and Natural Resources, Health and Human Services, and Rules and Enrolled Bills committees.
Besides his work on behalf of the forest-products industry, Sen. Bradley has had a special interest in healthcare and was presented with the 2016 Founders Award by the New Hampshire Hospital Association. He has also been honored by the Business and Industry Association, the New Hampshire Veterans of Foreign Wars, the New Hampshire Association of Counties, and the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities.
He also is among the most well-known hikers in a state full of them. In January 2015 he became one of only a couple dozen hikers to have completed what’s called “The Grid,” which is hiking all 48 4,000-foot-and-higher mountain peaks in New Hampshire in every month of the year — a total 576 ascents. Twice he has hiked all 48 4,000-footers in a single winter.