New Hampshire elections set
NASHUA – Gov. Chris Sununu hopes a balanced budget and a thriving economy will be enough to convince New Hampshire voters to give the Republican a second two-year term.
After all, a record 741,480 New Hampshire residents are now working in the state.
However, Democratic challenger Molly Kelly believes many of these employees are due a raise, as she vows to more than double New Hampshire’s current minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour – and require employers to provide paid family and medical leave for their workers.
Though the gubernatorial race understandably receives significant attention, voters on Tuesday will also cast ballots for U.S. Congress, Executive Council, New Hampshire Senate and House, and Hillsborough County offices.
“Today, more people are working than at any other point in our state’s history, and that’s no accident,” Sununu said recently. “I look forward to continuing our work to again be the jobs engine of New England and the next round of business tax relief in January. We are all about the economy, and it continues to work.”
Elected in 2016, some of the accomplishments Sununu lists on his website include:
providing property and business tax relief;
establishing full-day kindergarten;
eliminating 1,600 “burdensome” government regulations; and
adding 20 new Division for Children, Youth & Families caseworkers.
Meanwhile, Kelly, a former state senator, lists the following among her top priorities:
universal background checks for all gun purchases;
preventing state and local law enforcement officials from assisting the federal government with immigration enforcement;
opposing vouchers for private or religious schools; and
overturning the voter residency requirement laws, commonly known as SB 3 and HB 1264.
There is also a Libertarian in the race, as Jilletta Jarvis hopes to pull off a major upset.
In New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., hopes to stave off a challenge from Republican Steve Negron.
Kuster touts her work with the bipartisan Heroin and Opioids Task Force in the ongoing effort to help end the crisis, which sees dangerous drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and others proliferating in the community. She also acknowledges the emerging challenge presented by the synthetic stimulant drug, methamphetamine.
“In addition to reauthorizing the critical Office of National Drug Control Policy, which I fought for, this legislation also includes The STOP Fentanyl Deaths Act, a bill I introduced to help public health laboratories better detect synthetic opioids like fentanyl and alert public health officials and law enforcement,” Kuster said.
Negron, however, claims Kuster needs to spend more time in New Hampshire to see how the opioid epidemic is actually impacting the state. Througout the campaign, the two have also clashed on issues of immigration, health care and gun control.
“This is a constitutional right that was given to us,” Negron said of the right to bear arms. “You want to throw the blame on the 99 percent of people who are lawful gun owners.”
Negron said his grandfather moved to the U.S. from Mexico in the 1920s, so he appreciates the fact that Latinos want to migrate north. However, he said they should follow an orderly and legal process.
“We understand that immigrants are the foundation of our country,” he said.
Libertarian Justin O’Donnell is also in the running for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District.
In the 1st Congressional District, which includes Merrimack and Bedford, incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is not seeking re-election. Democrat Chris Pappas faces Republican Eddie Edwards for the right to head to the U.S. Capitol. Libertarian Dan Belforti is also on the ballot.
U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, both D-N.H., do not face re-election this year.
Hillsborough County Offices
Hillsborough County Commissioner Paul G. Bergeron, a Democrat, faces a challenge from Republican Mike Soucy.
Also, County Commissioner Robert Rowe, a Republican, looks to fend off a challenge from Democrat Steve Spratt.
Hillsborough County Sheriff James Hardy, a Republican, faces a pair of challengers: Democrat Bill Barry and Libertarian Aaron Day.
In the race for County Attorney, incumbent Republican Dennis Hogan will face Democrat Michael Conlon.
Republican Hillsborough County Treasurer David Fredette will meet Democratic candidate William Bryk.
State Senate and Executive Council
In the Executive Council race, Republican incumbent David Wheeler faces a challenge from Democrat Debora Pignatelli. Throughout the campaign, the two have clashed on whether New Hampshire should engage in a passenger rail plan to connect Greater Nashua to Boston.
Libertarian candidate Brian Chabot is also working for votes in this race.
In state Senate District 11, Democrat Shannon Chandley is trying to unseat Republican incumbent Gary Daniels. This district includes Amherst, Merrimack, Milford and Wilton.
The District 12 State Senate race features Republican incumbent Kevin Avard facing a challenge from Democrat Melanie Levesque. This Senate district includes Nashua wards 1, 2 and 5, as well as Brookline and Hollis.
The District 13 contest sees Republican David Schoneman facing Democrat Cindy Rosenwald. Incumbent Democrat Bette Lasky is not seeking re-election. This district is composed of Nashua wards 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
District 14 will see Democrat Tammy Siekmann face off against Republican incumbent Sharon Carson. Hudson voters will cast ballots in this race.
Within the city of Nashua, each ward selects three representatives to serve in the New Hampshire House. Though the candidates are divided on the ballot by party, a voter has the choice to, for example, vote for two Democrats and one Republican.
Democrats – William Bordy, Bruce Cohen and Jan Schmidt.
Republicans – Elizabeth Ferreira, Tom Lanzara and Carl Seidel.
Democrats – Paul R. Bergeron, Ray Newman and Sue Newman.
Republicans – Michael Balboni and Michael McCarthy.
Democrats – Sherry Dutzy, Patricia Klee and Suzanne Vail.
Republicans – Doris Hohensee, Mariellen MacKay and Lisa Scontsas.
Democrats – David Cote, Fred Davis Jr. and Manny Espitia.
Republicans – None.
Democrats – Allison Nutting-Wong, Michael Pedersen and Dan Toomey.
Republicans – Paula Johnson, Di Lothrop and Frank Moore.
Democrats – Ken Gidge, Mark King and Fran Nutter-Upham.
Republicans – Kevin Scully.
Democrats – Greg Indruk, Catherine Sofikitis and Deb Stevens.
Republicans – Dee Hogan and Donald Whalen.
Democrats – Skip Cleaver, Latha Mangipudi and Laura Damphousse Telerski.
Republicans – Paul Hutsteiner, Michael Mader and Peter Silva.
Democrats – Linda Harriott-Gathright, Marty Jack, Michael O’Brien Sr.
Republicans – Iang Jeon, Paula Desjardins Moran and Bill Ohm.