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Campaign Monitor

With loophole in bylaws, New Hampshire Young Democrats endorse Dan Feltes for state senate

The New Hampshire Young Democrats group has endorsed Concord attorney Dan Feltes in the primary race for the District 15 state Senate seat.

Feltes, 35, is competing with Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger to replace outgoing state Sen. Sylvia Larsen, who has held the seat for 20 years.

President Theo Groh said volunteers from the Young Democrats will be joining Feltes’s canvassing this weekend. He cited Feltes’s position on issues such as student loan debt and affordable housing, as well as his age, as reasons for the group’s support.

“I think it’s very exciting for us that a young person would step up and run for a Senate race,” Groh said. “I think we’re very inspired by the issues that Dan really chooses to focus on.”

The bylaws of the Young Democrats state the group shall not endorse primary candidates, but the group can make an exception if one of its members is running for office and its executive board votes in favor of the endorsement. Members of the group range from 18 to 36 years old.

By taking advantage of that exception, Groh said the endorsement is a testament to the strength of Young Democrats’ belief in Feltes.

“Dan, being under 36, counts,” Groh said. “We definitely considered this long and hard because we know it’s potentially very controversial, and the Young Democrats very rarely get involved in primaries.”

Feltes has worked as an attorney for New Hampshire Legal Assistance for eight years. He said he was not actively involved in the Young Democrats before he began his campaign, but he welcomes their support.

“I’m very honored to receive the endorsement of the New Hampshire Young Democrats, and I look forward to working with them,” Feltes said.

Ardinger, 54, said she had not been contacted by the Young Democrats about her candidacy in the primary.

“This endorsement seems to be one-sided without the opportunity for me to persuade or talk about” my positions, she said.

Groh confirmed he had never met with Ardinger. The Young Democrats group is affiliated with the New Hampshire Democratic Party, which also does not endorse primary candidates. A party spokesperson did not offer a comment, but Democratic National Committeeman Peter Burling said he was upset the Young Democrats endorsed Feltes without inviting Ardinger for an interview with the board.

Burling is also a former New Hampshire House Democratic leader and state senator, and he penned a personal letter to the editor in support of Ardinger, which appeared in the Monitor last month.

“I am deeply disturbed that they have done so without affording both candidates an opportunity for an interview,” Burling said. “That’s something they should have done. It is really improper for them to have proceeded without giving an interview opportunity to both sides.”

The district includes Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner. The primary is Sept. 9.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

Legacy Comments5

Two points...obviously our first commentator thinks that only the rich, the retired and the remunerated should serve in the NH Legislature...I served for 8 years in the House and I worked weekends, rented part of my house and took my second daughter to the legislature in order to serve. Is your problem with Dan Feltes or is the problem the $100/year that used to represent half of the average wage of a NH worker when it was originally established. Second point: Sylvia Larsen never met with Dan Feltes when she handed the torch to Kass Ardinger. HMMMMMM

Is Felte's a 1%ter - How can a 35 year old man quit his job to run for a $100 a year job? OH Yea - I forgot - HE is a LIBERAL LAWYER the lefts hate for rich only applies to others

If he has worked as a Legal Aid lawyer for 8 years, he ain't no 1%-er. And "the left" does not "hate" the rich, they just love fairness, and have more than a bumpersticker understanding of capitalism in a democracy.

He is a lawyer and this is NOT a democracy. Like Van Ostern, well educated but one has to ask why these folks run for these offices. The answer is simple, they are looking to be a career politician, seeking power and to climb the ladder. The Founders of our REPUBLIC, yes it is not a DEMOCRACY, had the intent that people of all walks of life could and should serve. We don't need more lawyers in charge. If you don't agree, look to Washington DC.

Hey Peter, You should talk buddy, oh what hypocrisy. Reference your wife Jean K. when as judge wouldn't even give Ed & Elaine Brown a hearing on their civil case #2005-C-033 In Grafton County Superior Court. Instead what she did was allow the Feds to Remove and Dismiss even against their own statute of 28USC636(c)(1) requiring the consent of BOTH parties: both as in the two of them, get it Peter!? Plaintiff AND Defendant; Get it? Now you say for this group to hear from BOTH parties before a decision. Can you see the hypocrisy here? Of course. Then "Wise Up". You're sponging off her Article 36 retirement pay of 75% of her then $100,000/year salary, and have the audacity to say not do what my wife did too, but what you say!? Come on, get with it. Tell your wife to write a written apology of THEN I'll take what you say and write seriously! In the meantime this group does what? The Jean K. Burling Shuffle? (;-)

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