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Primary survey: Franklin Ward 3, Northfield sees three-way race for two House seats

  • Longley

  • Wheeler

  • Gillespie


Merrimack County District 3 includes Franklin Ward 3 and Northfield. The district’s two seats are currently held by Deborah Wheeler, a Democrat, and Greg Hill, a Republican. Both are running for re-election. Hill is joined by Ryan Smith on the GOP ticket while Wheeler is in a contested primary between her and two other candidates: Robert Gillespie and Carolee Longley.
Thursday, September 08, 2016

Deborah H. Wheeler

Party: Democrat

Age: 72

Town of residence: Northfield

Occupation: retired

Incumbent? Yes. Three terms; running for my fourth.

Do you support . . .

Commuter rail funding? Yes

Providing more state money for higher education? Yes

Pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? I would like to see the new legislation before I can commit. I have always hunted and fished all over N.H.

Reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Yes

Increasing the minimum wage? Yes, increasing in increments until $15 is reached.

Marijuana legalization or decriminalization? I am open to the new legislation, which will come forward in January 2017.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? My philosophy and principles are to help as many as I can and, in doing so, to do no harm. My concerns and priorities are: the devastating impact opioid addiction is having in N.H.; to provide education and services to the children, ill, elderly and disabled in this state; and provide tax relief for seniors and disabled citizens.

Carolee Longley

Party: Democrat

Age: 52

Residence: Northfield

Occupation: professional facilitator, community volunteer

Incumbent: No

Do you support . . .

Commuter rail funding? Yes

Providing more state funding for higher education? N.H. has among the highest rates in the nation for college costs. As a parent with a child in college right now in N.H., I know firsthand how expensive it is. This is also a workforce development issue. We need to work to retain our young people here in N.H. with good paying job opportunities when they graduate.

Pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? I am pro Second Amendment.

Reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Yes. The Legislature worked very hard to reauthorize the bipartisan N.H. Health Protection Act, and 50,000 hard working residents were able to access health insurance.

Increasing the minimum wage? I do believe that we need to work towards this in N.H. People who work hard, often working two jobs, should not be living in poverty. The cost of child care for working families has now eclipsed rent as the largest expense. We need to work toward paying workers a living wage in N.H. I encourage people to visit FamilyFriendlyEconomy.org and look at the data.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? I am pro-environment. Northern Pass should bury all or most of the lines. I am an advocate for education and believe that we need to do all we can to support our teachers. I also support our labor unions because they work to protect hard-working people. I am a longtime advocate for substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery. We need to work toward restoring the dedicated Alcohol Fund in N.H. In 2000, it was mandated that 5 percent of the sales from alcohol in N.H. would go toward prevention and treatment. It has been fully funded only once – in the first year. We should not be taking monies out of this fund and putting it in the general fund. This past biennium, only 1.7 percent of the Alcohol Fund went where it was supposed to – to prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. In the midst of the opioid crisis and high rates of alcoholism in our state, the 1.7 percent funding just doesn’t cut it. We need the full 5 percent. And we need it now.

Robert K. Gillespie

Party: Democrat

Age: 73

Town of residence: Northfield

Occupation: retired farmer

Incumbent? No; first time running for office

Do you support . . .

Commuter Rail funding? Yes

Providing more state funding for higher education? Yes

Pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? Before I can completely commit to a response I need to see what is proposed in LSRs or bills.

Reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Yes, definitely.

Increasing the minimum wage? Yes, incrementally to $12 and then to $15.

Marijuana legalization or decriminalization? My first wife died from catastrophic illness and medical marijuana would have helped. Regarding now, recreational marijuana is the big question and I, (if elected), would like to see the bills coming forward to a committee.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? Priorities: improve education on the opioid addiction; agriculture and environment; affordable and reasonable health care for all the residents; provide services for the disabled, handicapped, ill, mentally ill, and the children of New Hampshire. I pledge to work for all of my residents in my towns in Merrimack District 3, Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire.