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It has to be Gatsas for NH

If New Hampshire wants to break free from the slow pace of economic recovery that has plagued the country for the better part of a decade now, we will need a strong, hardworking leader with a firm grasp of how the economy really works. New Hampshire has fared better than a lot of other states since the recession of 2008. But look around and you can see why it is so important for us to make growth a top priority.

Most of us know somebody who needs a better job, a bigger paycheck or a helping hand. And the prospects for the immediate future are not great. The state employment security agency released a report this month that projected job growth of just 1.8 percent between the end of 2015 and the end of 2017. In Nashua and Manchester, average weekly earnings actually fell in the last year.

As the former president of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce and as someone who still works daily to help small businesses succeed here in Nashua, I know that generating more economic growth for New Hampshire is critical for our state. Economic growth brings more jobs, higher incomes, more opportunities for young people, more charitable giving, more state and local tax revenue, and a better overall quality of life.

We need a governor who not only understands this and has led in the business world, but who also understands how to get things done in government. For those reasons, I am supporting Ted Gatsas for governor.

Before entering public service to New Hampshire as a state senator, Ted Gatsas and his brother built a successful staffing business from the ground floor. Through sweat and ingenuity they grew their company into a multimillion-dollar enterprise creating hundreds of good jobs, while assisting hundreds of other small businesses. No other candidate for governor better understands the needs of New Hampshire’s job creators.

As a public servant, Ted Gatsas quickly gained a reputation as a problem solver. In the state Senate he built bipartisan coalitions to improve education funding and create more responsible state budgets. As mayor of Manchester, he took the lead on more important projects than this editorial space has room to accommodate.

One of the things that most impresses me about Ted Gatsas’ tenure as mayor in Manchester is how often he has challenged the status quo.

He is never content to accept "that’s the way it’s always been done" as an answer. He challenges everyone – department heads, aldermen, school principals, union leaders – to do better.

When aldermen balked at paying for a new police station and garage to replace facilities that were outdated and overcrowded, Ted Gatsas showed them how the city could do it without raising taxes. When companies bid on city contracts, Ted Gatsas would personally negotiate a lower offer if he thought a bid was too high. He saved Manchester taxpayers millions of dollars by sitting down with city unions and cutting better deals. He even found ways to increase school spending while staying under the city tax cap.

In both public and private life, Ted Gatsas has proven himself to be an incredibly hard-working, high-energy problem solver. You can count on him to actually get things done, which is refreshing in this age of politics-as-showmanship, don’t you think?

So when Ted Gatsas says he is going to declare a state of emergency over the opioid crisis and get to work solving it on Day One, we can believe him. When he says he is going to promote more choice and local control in public education, we can believe him.

When he says he is going to work tirelessly to lower energy costs and stimulate more job creation, we can believe him.

Because I have watched Ted Gatsas’ leadership in action, I am excited to support his candidacy for governor in next month’s Republican primary. For New Hampshire’s future, I invite you to join me.

Chris Williams is a former mayoral candidate and currently a partner with Velocity Performance.