PORTSMOUTH — Sen. Chris Dodd fought for seven years, through the terms of three presidents and two presidential vetoes, to pass the Family and Medical Leave Act — which is exactly the kind of persistence and leadership the country needs from its next president, according to Dick Ingram.
Dodd's New Hampshire campaign announced Monday that Ingram, former president of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, has endorsed the senator for president.
"We need leadership from our next president that will transform America," said Ingram, executive director of the Housing Partnership in Portsmouth. "And Senator Dodd has a proven record of offering bold leadership throughout his career."
The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child or sick family member and, according to Dodd's campaign, has been utilized by an estimated 50 million people since it became a law in 1993.
Ingram praised the field of Democratic presidential candidates for being "exceptional," but he said Dodd's track record of "getting things done" was the reason the senator earned his support.
"I think the field is probably the deepest and most talented the Democrats have ever had the joy of evaluating," said Ingram. "But (Dodd) is persistent and has had the vision to look ahead to say what needs to happen. That's how work gets done."
Ingram also pointed to Dodd's recent collaboration with Sen. Chuck Hagel on a bill aimed at revitalizing America's infrastructure as an example of his leadership and experience.
"That was something that was two years in the making," said Ingram of the bipartisan effort to create a national infrastructure bank that would allow the federal government to finance infrastructure projects. "Again, I think it's an indication of his willingness and ability to think ahead."
Ingram will also serve as co-chairman of the Rockingham County portion of Dodd's New Hampshire campaign.
"Dick Ingram is someone who understands public service, and, like Senator Dodd, has dedicated his life to helping others," said Dodd's New Hampshire chairman, Joe Keefe, in a statement. "I know Senator Dodd and his supporters are excited and honored to have his support."
Dodd will be back in New Hampshire this weekend and is expected to be in the Seacoast on Sunday. The trip will be his 14th visit to the Granite State this year.