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For Concord’s District C school board seat, it’s Cofrin vs. Crush

  • From Left to right: Tom Croteau, Liza Dube, Danielle Smith, Barb Higgins, Liza Poinier, Rusty Cofrin, and Chuck Crush. Jonathan Van Fleet



Monitor staff
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

In the race for Concord’s District C school board seat, the choice is between a budget hawk and an advocate for inclusion.

Chuck Crush, 53, said he’s running for school board because of the “positive impact” the district had on his step-children.

“Just seeing that impact has made me a fan of the schools,” he said.

His step-son had a great experience doing theater at Concord High, he said, and his step-daughter is fully included at Broken Ground School, despite her disability.

His priority, he said, is to make sure “every type of learner” – including refugee, immigrant and LGBT students – also have their needs met.

“I would like to make sure that all the families in Concord have the opportunity to experience that,” he said.

He added that as a veteran health care executive – Crush runs the Birches at Concord, a senior living facility – he also brings a “data-driven, analytical” approach to fiscally conservative budgeting and decision-making.

His opponent, Rusty Cofrin, 59, a self-identified “budget hawk” said he has a singular focus – holding the line on taxes.

“There are people out there that have no stake in full-day kindergarten or Rundlett Middle School. And I want to be their voice,” he said.

After sitting on the school board for three years, Cofrin ran for re-election in 2016 but lost out to Pam Wicks for the other District C seat.

Cofrin said he’s glad this race isn’t a “single-issue” campaign the way it was last year, when the question of full-day kindergarten dominated the contest.

He insists he supports full-day kindergarten – as long it doesn’t cost taxpayers any extra money. He said his threshold for voting to implement full-day programming is if the tax increase attributable to it is “zero percent.” Crush, for his part, has said he’ll vote for full-day kindergarten next year and named it as a top priority.

Cofrin, a former math teacher, also frequently touts the time he spent on the school board as an invaluable asset as the board looks toward big decisions on the horizon about renovating or rebuilding Rundlett Middle School.

“My motto is: experience does count here. If I get elected, I won’t have a learning curve,” he said.

Crush hasn’t held public office before, but he has served on nonprofit boards, including the boards of the Red River Theatre in Concord and the New Hampshire Association of Residential Care Homes.

The election is Nov. 7. District C represents wards 8, 9 and 10. The seat’s term runs through 2020.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)