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State Rep races: Merrimack County District 20 (Chichester, Pembroke)

  • Seaworth

  • Tapp

  • Richardson

  • Schuett Bob Hammerstrom—Image is copyright to Bob...


Chichester, Pembroke (three seats)
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Merrimack County District 20

Incumbents David Doherty and Dianne Schuett are joined by Doug Hall on the Democratic ticket while Republican incumbent Brian Seaworth is joined by Jon Richardson and Darren Tapp on the GOP side.

 

David Doherty

Party: Democrat

Age: 71

Town of residence: Pembroke

Occupation: Retired

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

Do you support commuter rail funding? Yes. I think it would have a positive economic impact both on the region and the state as well as providing alternative commuting options.

Do you support providing more state money for higher education? Yes. N.H. lags drastically behind most of the nation in funding higher education. Providing affordable public higher education to the students of our state is vital for the future.

Do you support pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? I support reasonable and responsible laws that include universal background checks and limitations on the types of weapons available to the public.

Do you support reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Yes. I would vote for permanent expansion of Medicaid.

Do you support increasing the minimum wage? Yes. I think the state minimum wage should be raised to at least $12 an hour.

Do you support marijuana legalization or decriminalization? I voted for decriminalization but do not support legalization.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? As a former school counselor, I am interested in strengthening public education, K-12, reducing health care costs, raising the minimum wage, and enacting legislation that would result in a fair tax system. My priorities are programs that assist low and middle families gain in the economic system.

Doug Hall

Party: Democrat

Age: 73

Town of residence: Chichester

Occupation: Retired (last job: Executive director of N.H. Center for Public Policy Studies)

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: No (but served 4 terms from 1986-1994 as a Republican)

Do you support commuter rail funding? Generally, I support public transportation options. The key is the schedule. Commuter rail will not succeed if trains run only once/hour. Large investment in the physical infrastructure makes no sense if the frequency of trains will be inadequate to attract commuters. I am undecided about the Boston-Nashua-Manchester proposal because that has not been a critical part of the discussion.

Do you support providing more state money for higher education? Yes. Either as higher appropriations to our public colleges or to a special scholarship fund for N.H. residents.

Do you support pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? No. I do not support further loosening of laws regarding guns. I support gun safety measures such as requiring background checks for all gun purchases and prohibiting those on the “do not fly” list from purchasing guns. But those must be dealt with at the national level.

Do you support reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Yes. Care must be taken, however, in evaluating the source of state funds to allow this to happen.

Do you support increasing the minimum wage? Yes. N.H. no longer has a minimum wage law. I would like to see it reinstated and the rate be set higher than the current federal minimum wage. This has been done in many states, counties, and cities.

Do you support marijuana legalization or decriminalization? Yes, but I would want it to be coupled with state control (like liquor) and taxation.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? I was a registered Republican, albeit a liberal one, for all my adult life. After the rise of Republican Speaker Bill O’Brien and some of his Libertarian and Free State supporters three years ago, I could no longer remain in that party. I still have Republican leanings. I support balanced budgets, fair taxes and regulations only to protect the public. As a Republican member of the House 25 years ago, I worked closely with members of both parties and will do so again.

Dianne E. Schuett

Party: Democrat

Age: 72

Town of Residence: Pembroke

Occupation: (retired) Legislative Clerk

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: Yes, hoping for a fourth term

Do you support commuter rail funding?: There has been a study proposed to examine the benefits vs. the costs, and I certainly support that. I think this has the potential to revitalize our state economy.

Do you support providing more state money for higher education?: I hope state revenues will allow us to provide more assistance to stem the flow of our younger generations out of New Hampshire because of the extremely high student debt load.

Do you support pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry?: The recent increase in gun violence convinces me that we need to continue the concealed carry licensing procedures currently in place and enhance background checks, e.g. for gun show sales.

Do you support reauthorizing Medicaid expansion?: Yes, reports have shown that not only has expansion provided health care to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters, but that it is also saving taxpayers money by avoiding the high costs of treating these folks in emergency rooms.

Do you support increasing the minimum wage?: More than increasing it, we need to re-establish it in New Hampshire, which currently does not have a state minimum wage. I was also a co-sponsor of the prevailing wage law in the 2016 session.

Do you support marijuana legalization or decriminalization?: Not at this time, I voted for medical marijuana and want to monitor how that process works before taking the next possible step.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities?: Being a retiree myself, I am sensitive to the hardships that state spending and downshifting place on our low- and fixed-income constituents. If re-elected, I will continue to safeguard that bottom line while still providing the services that people need.

Jon Richardson

Party: Republican

Age: 33

Town of residence: Pembroke

Occupation: management and marketing

Incumbent? No

Do you support commuter rail funding? No. Self-driving vehicles are in the near future and will eliminate the need for rail and continued widening highways.

Providing more state money for higher education? No

Pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? Yes

Reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Yes

Increasing the minimum wage? Yes

Marijuana legalization or decriminalization? Legalization with state controlling and selling similar to N.H. Liquor Commission. The over-prescription of pain medication thanks to the government and pharmaceutical companies has helped lead to the current opiate crisis we have in N.H. and across America. Legalization of marijuana will help slow the current crisis and also enable doctors to offer more options for pain relief.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? I want to work for common-sense solutions that will make a meaningful difference.

Brian Seaworth

Party: Republican

ge: 50

Town: Pembroke

Occupation: Software consultant, self-employed

Incumbent? Yes, two terms (non-consecutive)

Do you support commuter rail funding? No

Providing more state money for higher education? Generally, no. The state university system has a heavy administrative burden relative to spending directly on instructors and classrooms. The need for additional funding should be discussed within that context. It can be difficult to justify diverting money to the university system, which directly benefits only a small portion of our population. That said, I would like to see higher education considered as part of the full budget process. I certainly would not vote against a budget simply because it had an increase in higher education funding.

Pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? Yes

Reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? No

Increasing the minimum wage? No

Marijuana legalization or decriminalization? Yes

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? One of the most important charges of the Legislature is developing and passing the budget. My terms in office have seen responsible budgets passed without new taxes, including a reduction of the burden on N.H. businesses. Re-electing me and a Republican majority will help keep our state’s budget on the right track. In my two terms, my voting record demonstrates that I am a solid supporter of the Constitution and the Republican platform. I have received, so far, endorsements from the Republican Liberty Caucus, the N.H. Liberty Alliance and the NRA. If elected to a third term, I will continue my efforts to help grow our economy, which we do by making New Hampshire a great place to do business.

Contact information: brianseaworth.org / brian@brianseaworth.org

Darren Tapp

Party: Republican

Town of Residence: Chichester

Occupation: instructor at SNHU and information technology/data analysis

Do you support commuter rail funding? The success of the Hooksett rest area is a prime terrific public-private showcase. If there were an investor that considers this an attractive investment I would expect commuter rail to be a successful project and would be saddened if New Hampshire blocked this project.

Providing more funding for higher education? My experience working in higher education highlights many ways that money can be saved while delivering higher quality education for students of New Hampshire’s colleges and universities. I believe this perspective will be useful while serving the Granite State.

Pro-gun legislation, such as constitutional carry? I support constitutional carry.

Reauthorizing Medicaid expansion? Medicaid expansion was passed by the Legislature last term. I don’t see a need to expand it further at this time.

Increasing the minimum wage? I do not support the increasing of minimum wage.

Marijuana legalization or decriminalization? Money spent on marijuana law enforcement could be allocated better.

What would you like voters to know about your philosophy, principles or priorities? Darren was born and raised in Kentucky where he earned two bachelors and a masters from the University of Kentucky. He then continued his study of mathematics at Purdue University earning a Ph.D. Since graduation, he has taught at many colleges and universities, while contributing to industry as well.