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Democrat Schultz wins special election to become Concord’s newest state rep

  • Democrat state representative candidate Kris Schultz stands outside the Havenwood retirement home as voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s Ward 9 special election, July, 18, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Republican state representative candidate Michael Feeley (left) stands outside the Havenwood retirement home as voters cast ballots in Tuesday's Ward 9 special election, July, 18, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Democrat state representative candidate Kris Schultz (left) stands outside the Havenwood retirement home as voters cast ballots in Tuesday's Ward 9 special election, July, 18, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Republican state representative candidate Michael Feeley stands outside the Havenwood retirement home as voters cast ballots in Tuesday's Ward 9 special election, July, 18, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Democrat Kris Schultz will be Concord’s newest state rep.

Her victory Tuesday in a special election for the Ward 9 seat over Republican challenger Michael Feeley solidifies the Democrats’ undivided hold on the capital city.

Schultz, Feeley and their supporters listened intently at the Havenwood retirement home shortly after the polls closed, as Moderator Stephen Ludwick placed a call to City Clerk Janice Bonenfant with the results. Schultz positioned her phone in the moderator’s direction, streaming live to her Facebook followers.

Schultz won by a vote of 284-82, Ludwick said, and the Democrat announced that she was going out for a celebratory ice cream.

“I’m really glad that our hard work paid off, that people responded to our message: health care for everybody,” she said. “That people responded to what our campaign stood for really pleases me.”

She added: “Our volunteers were amazing, the voters were fantastic, and I’m very happy.”

In the hours before the polls closed at 7 p.m., Ludwick said it appeared that the number of voters might exceed the 400 anticipated by the secretary of state’s office. The moderator said he had extra ballots printed in case of an after-work rush, but only 366 were needed.

The turnout for the summertime special election was about 13 percent of the 2,787 registered voters. The district leans toward the Democrats, with 1,073 people registered for that party and 739 registered Republican.

Ludwick said the Republican Party attempted to challenge one voter’s ballot, claiming that the retirement home ID that the person showed to the poll workers wasn’t acceptable. The moderator disagreed and was eventually validated by the investigator who responded from the attorney general’s office, he said.

“Anything I determine to be a valid ID is a valid ID. (The investigator) left and came back about an hour later and says, ‘You know, you’re right,’ ” Ludwick said.

Ludwick said he had to call Republican Party Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester about a GOP election watcher who became disruptive at the polls.

The moderator said the Republican watcher at various times demanded to know the name and address of a voter and demanded that the moderator take photos of a couple for whom the supervisor of the checklist vouched.

“He said, ‘She’s not authorized to vouch for them,’ ” referring to the supervisor, who knew the voters. “I looked at him and said, ‘Look, son, you need to read your law book.’ ”

Later, Ludwick said, the challenger, who is from Concord, admitted that he was wrong. The moderator said he called Forrester to tell her, “I can’t have people disrupting my election process,” and soon the man left.

“The concept here is that if you want to vote, you want to assert that right, then dammit, you can vote. Just give me something that I can use to say, yes, you deserve the ballot,” he said.

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @NickBReid.)