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Friday, June 20, 2014

GOP, Dems work hard to fill primary ballot spots

CONCORD – The two major political parties were very competitive filling out the slates of candidates for offices representing the Nashua region.

But when it comes to open warfare competition in the Sept. 9 primary, there’s far more of it on the Republican than the Democratic side. ...

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CONCORD – The two major political parties were very competitive filling out the slates of candidates for offices representing the Nashua region.

But when it comes to open warfare competition in the Sept. 9 primary, there’s far more of it on the Republican than the Democratic side.

The Republican and Democratic chairs were able to nominate candidates to fill any blanks on the primary ballot until Wednesday at 5 p.m.

The most significant case in point lies in races for the 400-person House of Representatives, 75 of which hail from Nashua and surrounding towns.

The Democrats had candidates running in 67 of those 75 seats. The GOP did only a slightly better job of filling the slate, fielding candidates for 69 of those 75 seats

But while Democrats had only 69 candidates running for those 75 seats, there were 101 Republicans that showed up.

Statewide, the most competitive House race lies in the town of Salem where supporters hoping for casino legislation were dashed by a single vote in May.

There were 19 Republicans running for the town’s nine seats.

Closer to home, there are nine running for eight GOP nominations in Merrimack, 12 for six seats in Bedford, four for two seats in Hollis, 15 for 11 seats in Hudson and Pelham and primaries in Nashua Wards 5, 7 and 9.

Rep. Andrew Renzullo, R-Hudson, was one of the most prominent local GOP House members who chose not to run again after 10 years in the House.

“I never had any doubt there would be competition in my towns,” Renzullo said of the Hudson-Pelham district. “There always is.”

The six vacant spots the GOP could not fill were in Nashua where no one showed up to run for three seats in Ward 3 northeast of downtown, only 1 for three spots in Ward 4 downtown and two for the three spots selected in Ward 8 in the southwest quadrant of the city.

The reverse was true on the Democratic front as their open spaces were in the suburbs while they filled the entire slate in Nashua.

Only three Democrats filed for six seats in Bedford, none for two seats in Litchfield, eight for the 11 Hudson-Pelham spots.

The same partisan dynamic is in place further up the ballot.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, all D-N.H., face no primary opposition.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, a first-term Democrat, faces two little-known and under-financed opponents.

By contrast, the primaries are thick on the GOP side, four running for governor, 10 for the U.S. Senate nomination and four in each of the two congressional districts.

In the state Senate, the Democrats fielded candidates in 22 of the 24 districts not finding someone to try to unseat Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, or Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett.

There’s only one Democratic primary in the Senate, a two-person race to replace retiring Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen, of Concord.

Republicans left two openings in the state Senate ranks failing to find someone to try and take out Sens. Molly Kelly, D-Keene, and David Pierce, D-Hanover.

But the GOP has primary contests in 10 of the 24 districts.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).