Henniker, NH — As the New Hampshire Primary approaches, prominent New Hampshire GOP candidates went head-to-head at New England College on Wednesday.

A debate featured 5 of the 11 candidates that will be on the ballot including front runners Don Bolduc and State Senator Chuck Morse. They covered federal and state issues ranging from inflation to abortion rights.

As New Hampshire’s primary election inches closer, candidates on the Republican side of the aisle have their sights set on defeating incumbent Maggie Hassan in November, however, they will need more votes than their Republican counterparts on September 13 to get that chance.

In the debate on Wednesday, the candidates talked about how inflation nationally was on all of their list of priorities. “We’re going to be slightly over 8 percent inflation this month,” said Senator Chuck Morse. “That takes you, a citizen, a whole month just to pay that increase.”

All of the candidates say the root of inflation is the U.S.’s energy dependency on other countries and that they would push for the U.S. to open more of their oil pipelines.

“We need to re-permitiate the XL Pipeline,” said Don Bolduc. “We need to reverse all of Biden’s policies.”

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on abortion and abortion rights in the Granite State prompted discussion on New Hampshire’s current abortion law which restricts abortion access only in the trimester.

“People have been hurt over this issue because the federal government was involved in something they shouldn’t have been involved in from the beginning.”

The debate turned contentious when former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith called out Senator Morse saying that Morse walked back his support of state funding that would aid abortion in the Granite State.

“This is something that Chuck Morse supported and voted for just over a month ago through the Finance Committee and that is not a vote that I would have taken,” said Smith.

Morse refuted Smith’s statement, saying it was blatantly false and that he fought for New Hampshire’s current abortion law. All of the candidates said they opposed federal funding for Planned Parenthood and they said they are pro life when it comes to the abortion debate.

Candidate Bruce Felton says more issues need to be handled at the state level. “We are dangerously close to having politicians having the power to control our speech and silence us.”

This was the second of three debates hosted by New England College, with the third coming Thursday night as Republican candidates for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District face off.

The primary election will occur on Tuesday, September 13, where you can vote at your local polling station.