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2nd Democratic candidate enters race to replace Sylvia Larsen

Concord attorney Dan Feltes will enter the Democratic primary to replace retiring state Sen. Sylvia Larsen today, creating at least a two-way primary to fill the seat Larsen has held for 20 years.

Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger filed to run Wednesday, and the filing period is open through 5 p.m. today. Larsen announced her retirement to the surprise of many Democrats last week, causing about a half-dozen potential candidates to throw their names in the ring, most of whom ultimately decided not to run. Ardinger knew about Larsen’s planned retirement before it happened, giving her a jump on planning her candidacy. Real estate agent Lydia Harman is running on the Republican side. The district includes Concord, Warner, Hopkinton and Henniker.

Feltes, 35, is an attorney for New Hampshire Legal Assistance and director of its Housing Justice Program. In that role, he frequently visits the State House to advocate for housing issues. He said yesterday he’d leave his job there if elected because it would create a conflict of interest. He’s been a Concord resident for eight years and lives in the South End with his wife, Erin.

If elected, he said he would focus on making sure New Hampshire provides opportunities for young families and ensuring the existence of affordable housing, quality education and strong communities.

“I really believe that the District 15 senator should . . . be a senator who will stand up for working families,” Feltes said.

District 15 is heavily Democratic, meaning the Sept. 9 primary will likely be more competitive than the general election.

“I really look forward to a healthy and invigorating issues-based debate with my opponent,” Feltes said.

Possible primary contenders who have chosen not to run include Jennifer Frizzell, senior policy adviser for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and Concord attorneys Jay Surdukowski and Andru Volinsky.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or or on Twitter @kronayne.)

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