‘Live Free or Die’: New Hampshire Man Runs for Senate in Pursuit of Liberty

‘Live Free or Die’: New Hampshire Man Runs for Senate in Pursuit of Liberty
A campaign sign for Bruce Fenton, a Bitcoin entrepreneur running for the Senate from New Hampshire. (Courtesy of Bruce Fenton for Senate)
Terri Wu
Bruce Fenton sees the current era as “times of radical change,” “the kind of change that you only see every century or so.” And he is taking matters into his own hands by running for Senate in New Hampshire.
The world with rules and systems built over the past 30 years was gone in 2019, said Fenton. What's trending in society, according to him, is “centralized control, communist power, boots on heads, social credit scores, and our kids wearing masks or other political signals the rest of their lives.” 
“I think we can either go down a path of tyranny or a path of freedom,” Fenton told The Epoch Times. “If we don’t get this right, we lose our freedom. And if we lose freedom, we could lose everything, [including] our entire way of life.” 
He considers mask and vaccine mandates as medical tyranny. In addition, the media and Big Tech are a part of tyranny that censors political opinions, he added.
Fenton announced his candidacy at the end of March, joining three others. The nomination race set for Sept. 13 currently has 11 Republican candidates in total. The crowded race doesn’t seem to deter Fenton, who said he had the idea to run for Senate in February because he wasn’t happy with his choices.
New Hampshire needs a liberty choice, especially in times of radical change, he said. “This is definitely the time we need liberty more than ever.” 
A financial adviser known for cryptocurrency entrepreneurship, Fenton said he “grew up on the floor of a brokerage firm.” His mother was a waitress who later moved to sales, selling gym memberships, insurance, microwave ovens, and, eventually, financial investments. At the age of 19, Fenton got his first investment license. Now he has his own securities brokerage firm. 
A self-identified Libertarian Republican, he said that he recognized the fundamental role of economic freedom in human freedom. And interactions with voters affirmed his point of view. On Aug. 29, while on the campaign trail, a voter said to Fenton: “I’m working class. When people in D.C. decide to spend money, that’s my pocket it comes from. I need my money.”
“It’s a common thing that people say. But the way he said it and the emotion that he had, it gets me because it is his money,” said Fenton. “It was just very real because he’s just a real guy right there. I wish people in Washington would meet people like that and think of him when they sign all these horrible, destructive bills.”
He added that for legislators in Washington to spend big by taking money from a regular working guy was “absolutely inhumane and immoral.”
 Bruce Fenton, a business owner running for the Senate seat in New Hampshire. (Courtesy of Bruce Fenton for Senate)
Bruce Fenton, a business owner running for the Senate seat in New Hampshire. (Courtesy of Bruce Fenton for Senate)

Connecting Cryptocurrency World and Government

Fenton sees many similarities between his experience in the crypto world and what the government can do better: accuracy and risk management.
According to him, the cryptocurrency space—and government—demands high degrees of accuracy. “If you lie in the cryptocurrency space, you get found out very quickly. So it requires you to be able to think on your feet, understand changing data, and be able to communicate effectively.”
He said risk management was another thing people didn’t do enough of in government. In the cryptocurrency business, understanding the system and thinking about risk is critical: “How could this [financial code] break? How could this be attacked? How could somebody game in this system? How could somebody unfairly influence it?”
Good engineers asked those questions multiple times, and sometimes for years, he said. “Something like the idea that 'let’s have a scientist decide to shut down the whole country' is not workable [in the cryptocurrency world],” he added, referring to the pandemic lockdowns. “That would never pass the kind of risk analysis in engineering.” 

Winning Over Independents and Libertarians

According to an Aug. 30 University of New Hampshire survey, retired Army General Don Bolduc is the frontrunner with 43 percent support among likely Republican primary voters. New Hampshire state Senate president Chuck Morse ranked second at 22 percent. Fenton ranked fourth, slightly behind economist and author Vikram Mansharamani, at 5 percent. The survey also found 20 percent undecided. The survey's margin of error is 2 percent, according to the University of New Hampshire’s survey center.
A similar poll from the St. Anselm College Survey Center on Aug. 15 showed similar rankings of Republican candidates and 39 percent undecided.
The state allows a previously unaffiliated voter to participate in the partisan primary of their choice. According to the Independent Voter Project, a nonpartisan election reform advocacy group, the unaffiliated in New Hampshire amounts to over 400,000. 
When Fenton announced his candidacy, New Hampshire Democrat Party Chair Ray Buckley called him a “Free State extremist” and said his candidacy reflected voters’ dissatisfaction with the three candidates already running in the Republican primary. None of the Republican candidates are endorsed by former President Donald Trump or New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu. 
Fenton said he was still optimistic, referring to the large percentage of undecided among likely Republican primary voters and the sizeable Libertarian population in the state. In the 2020 presidential election, the Libertarian presidential candidate got 13,000 votes from New Hampshire.
A member of the Free State Project, Fenton moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts five years ago. The Project is a political pro-freedom movement aiming at moving more than 20,000 people to New Hampshire for liberty. The Free State Project non-profit organization, founded in 2001, announced reaching the goal as of Feb. 3, 2016, when 20,000 participants had signed statements of intent to move to New Hampshire within the next five years.
The Senate race this year will be a close call. In the 2016 Senate election, the incumbent first-term Sen. Maggie Hassan won by 1,017 votes. Fenton said Republican voters needed a candidate who could attract the Independents and Libertarians in the state, not someone who could only appeal to the Republican base.
He said his position in ending the drug war, or drug legalization, is very popular among young voters. And his support of over-the-counter abortion drugs sets him apart from other pro-life Republican candidates.
Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center and a professor of political science with the university, told The Epoch Times in an email that Libertarians make up less than 5 percent of all registered voters in New Hampshire. “Not many young people vote in primaries, and their turnout is also significantly lower than older people in general elections. A candidate [who] says he or she will win because of the youth vote will almost certainly lose,” he added.
Winning or not, Fenton has set out his campaign to pursue “maximum freedom for every individual”: “I want gay married couples to be able to use Dogecoin to buy fully automatic weapons to protect their marijuana plants. That’s what I mean when I say freedom.”
Terri Wu is a Washington-based freelance reporter for The Epoch Times covering education and China-related issues. Send tips to [email protected].