×

State Rep. races: Merrimack County District 9 (Canterbury, Loudon)


Canterbury, Loudon (two seats)
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Merrimack County District 9

Incumbents Howard Moffett and George Saunderson, both Democrats, face Michael Moffett, a Republican.

Howard Moffett

Party: Democrat

Age: 72

Town of residence: Canterbury

Occupation: Retired attorney

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: Yes; two terms

Do you support commuter rail funding? Yes, but we need to do it without significant taxpayer subsidies. New Hampshire’s future high-tech economy is tied to Boston’s, and commuter rail would move us fully into a 21st-century regional economy.

Do you support providing more state money for higher education? Yes. Students at UNH graduate with the highest debt load in the nation, and they leave the state after graduation because they can find higher-paying jobs elsewhere to pay off that debt. We need to reduce tuition costs in the state university system.

Do you support pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? I support the Second Amendment rights of hunters and homeowners, but I think the existing state law requirement for a permit signed by the town’s police chief in order to carry concealed is reasonable and should be maintained.

Do you support reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Yes. I voted with clear bipartisan majorities in both houses of the Legislature to do just that, and would do so again.

Do you support increasing the minimum wage? Yes. Ours is the only New England state without its own minimum wage, so we default to the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour, which is not a living wage. I would re-establish a state minimum wage and raise it to $12/hour over two or three years, with a training wage for those entering the work force. Middle class Americans are due for a raise – on average, adjusted for inflation, they haven’t had one for over 30 years.

Do you support marijuana legalization or decriminalization? Decriminalization, yes. Legalization, no.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? I have two over-riding concerns heading into the 2016 election: the increasing polarization of our politics, and the widening gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us. Together, these two trends are crippling our politics and weakening our economy, because working people and retirees are struggling so hard to make ends meet that they can’t buy the goods and services we should be producing to move our economy forward.

George Saunderson

Party: Democrat

Age: 73

Town of Residence: Loudon

Occupation: retired

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: One term

Do you support commuter rail funding?: Certainly for the southern tier of our state.

Do you support providing more state money for higher education?: Yes, especially our tech schools and junior colleges.

Do you support pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? : I support the Second Amendment, but think background checks should extend to gun shows. I think a permit to carry should have to be applied for.

Do you support reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? : Yes

Do you support increasing the minimum wage?: Yes. I support enacting a N.H. minimum wage. It should be reasonable and tied to the rate of inflation.

Do you support marijuana legalization or decriminalization?: Decriminalization

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities?: I am for supporting education at all levels. Our biggest resource is our children and we should be investing in their future.

Michael Moffett

Party: Republican

Age: 61

Town of residence: Loudon

Occupation: Retired Marine/college professor

Incumbent? No

Do you support commuter rail funding? I’ve had great commuter rail experiences in Tokyo, New York, Washington, San Francisco, Paris, etc., but N.H. doesn’t have the necessary population to support this enormous undertaking without massive government subsidies. Many studies have shown local commuter rail initiatives to be economically nonviable.

Do you support providing more state money for higher education? I’ve spent much of my life in higher education, but we need to shine a light on priorities and how current funds are spent before just providing more money.

Do you support pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? I support the constitution and related court decisions regarding firearms.

Do you support reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Medicaid is an important component in our national health care mix. But the recent Obamacare expansion has resulted in Medicaid money being directed where it shouldn’t be – to single, childless adults not facing grievous need. Such expansion creates a dangerous, slippery slope. Medicaid expansion should not be reauthorized until such deficiencies are addressed.

Do you support increasing the minimum wage? I support honoring the current federal minimum wage. Creating a higher state minimum wage costs jobs and hurts small businesses. Look what happened in places like New Jersey or Seattle where increases in the minimum wage wreaked havoc.

Do you support marijuana legalization or decriminalization? While we should certainly review current penalties for possession of small amounts or marijuana, it would be a big mistake to legalize use of this substance. Societal sanction of hallucinogens puts motorists at risk while making a gateway drug readily accessible, inevitably leading some to more dangerous substances, which is the last thing N.H. needs now. Look at the problems Colorado has had re: marijuana legalization.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? I believe in service – in giving back to my community and country, which I have done as a teacher, coach, volunteer, and U.S. Marine. I believe in freedom and personal responsibility, and that we need to be vigilant about excessive bureaucracy, regulation and taxes. My motto is “Accountability, Integrity, and Service!”