Governor’s race full; filing deadline hits

Kelly, Marchand, Jarvis file to take on Chris Sununu

CONCORD – The race for governor formally took shape Friday as Democrat Molly Kelly became the latest candidate to sign up, rounding out the field of contenders looking to unseat Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

“I’m running for governor to give voice to the people of New Hampshire who have been left behind by the Trump-Sununu agenda that prioritizes wealthy corporations and special interests ahead of children and families,” Kelly said in an effort to connect Sununu’s policies with those of President Donald Trump.

Kelly, who previously represented the Keene region in the New Hampshire Senate, has already secured the backing of the Democratic party establishment. She has endorsements from the New Hampshire teachers union, the NEA-NH, as well as U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

Meanwhile, fellow Democrat Steve Marchand, the former Portsmouth mayor who lost a three-way primary to Colin Van Ostern in 2016, is positioning himself as the more progressive choice in the primary contest with Kelly.

New Hampshire’s Libertarians are represented on the ballot by Jilletta Jarvis, of Sandown. Jarvis has no experience in elected government.

Sununu filed his papers to run for re-election earlier this week. He lists low unemployment, a strong economy, and a business friendly tax and regulatory environment as reasons voters should grant him another term.

Generally, most New Hampshire governors win a second term. The notable recent exception being Republican Craig Benson, who served a single term from 2003 to 2005.

Neither Shaheen nor Hassan will be on the ballot this year, as their U.S. Senate seats will not be contested in this cycle. U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., faces no primary opposition. Her potential Republican challengers in November include Brian Belanger, Lynne Blankenbeker, Bob Burns, Stewart Levenson, Jay Mercer and Steve Negron.

Complete filing information will be available Monday through the Secretary of State’s website. So far, Nashua will see several contested races for state House and Senate seats, as well as the Executive Council.

On the house side, Democrats William Bordy, Jan Schmidt, and Bruce Cohen are running against Republicans Carl Seidel, Elizabeth Ferreira, and Tom Lanzara. Voters are asked to pick three representatives for each ward.

Ward 2 has four Democrats running against a single Republican, Michael McCarthy. Democrats Paul Bergeron, Jordan Thompson, Ray Newman and Sue Newman represent the opposition.

Ward 3’s race sees Democrats Patricia Klee, Suzanne Vail, and Sherry Dutzy are running with Republicans Mariellen MacKay and Lisa Scontsas.

Ward 4 shows no Republicans yet in the race, but three Democrats are ready to go. David Cote, Fred Davis Jr., and Manuel “Manny” Espitia are in the race.

In Ward 5, Republicans Di Lothrop, Frank Moore, and Paula Johnson will run against Democrats Allison Nutting-Wong, Dan Toomey, Josh Mercer and Michael Pedersen.

Ward 6’s sole Republican filer, Kevin Scully, is running against Democrats Ken Gidge, Fran Nutter-Upham, and Mark King. Ward 7 has Democrats Greg Indruk, Catherine Sofikitis and Deb Stevens running against Republicans Edith “Dee” Hogan and Donald Whalen.

Republican Paul Hutsteiner is taking on Democrats Laura Telerski, Skip Cleaver and Latha Mangipudi in Ward 8. Ward 9 has Democrats Linda Harriott-Gathright, Michael O’Brien, and Marty Jack going up against Republicans Iang Jeon, Bill Ohm, and Paula Desjardins Moran.

In the senate, District 12 sees a Republican primary between Nashua residents Richard Dowd and incumbent Kevin Avard, as well as a Democratic primary between Tom Falter, Greenville, and Melanie Levesque, Brookline.

Senate District 13 has Nashua Republican David Schoneman squaring off against Nashua’s Cindy Rosenwald, a long-time Democrat stalwart.

The District 5 seat on the executive council has Republican incumbent David Wheeler, of Milford, running against Democrat Debora Pignatelli, in what represents a return to politics for the well-known Nashua politician.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashua or @Telegraph_DF.