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Campaign Monitor

Write-in candidate joins Democratic primary race for Merrimack County District 10

The Democratic primary to represent Merrimack County District 10 in the House is shaping up to be a competitive race with the addition of a write-in candidate.

Three Democrats filed in June to be on the primary ballot to fill the district’s three seats – they are incumbents Mary Jane Wallner of Concord and Mel Myler of Contoocook, and George Langwasser of Contoocook.

Last month, Dave Luneau of Contoocook decided to jump into the race with encouragement from local Democrats and launched a write-in campaign.

These four candidates will vie for three slots in the Sept. 9 primary. The district is heavily Democratic and includes Ward 5 of Concord, Hopkinton and Contoocook.

Wallner has served 17 terms in the House and chairs the House Finance Committee. Myler just completed his first term and serves on the House Education Committee.

Hopkinton resident Gary Richardson, who had served four terms, announced his retirement this spring.

When that spot opened up, Langwasser, 76, decided to run. He is a court officer in the sheriff’s department and has been a Hopkinton selectman for the past nine years. His term expires next March.

“I am a firm believer we need to get newer ideas, newer blood into some of the races and political offices,” he said.

If elected to the House, Langwasser said he would focus on making sure Hopkinton gets its funding from the Merrimack Flood Compact, keeping the budget in control and working on women’s issues, such as employment equality.

“I hope to represent the people . . . and help make this a real good place to live,” Langwasser said.

Luneau launched his write-in campaign in mid-July.

“I was encouraged by active Democrats here in Hopkinton to get involved,” said Luneau, who has been chairman of the Hopkinton School Board for the past seven years. “After speaking with them . . . I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”

Luneau, 49, is an entrepreneur and if elected, he said, he hopes to work on improving the education system and cultivating the economy by encouraging new startup companies.

“I can really help move the conversation,” he said. “I am open-minded. Let’s talk about the different approaches to move the state forward.”

In case the write-in campaign doesn’t pan out, as a backup plan, Luneau is also working to get on the November general election ballot as an independent candidate. He has already collected more than the necessary 150 signatures to get on the ballot and plans to submit them to the secretary of state’s office, he said.

If elected to represent the district – either as a Democratic write-in candidate or as an independent in the general election – Luneau said he would caucus with the Democrats.

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at amorris@cmonitor.com.)

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