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Campaign Monitor

Alicea, Forsythe vie for Boscawen House seat

Boscawen voters in Merrimack County District 8 are being asked to choose between a familiar face and a new one. Democratic incumbent Caroletta Alicea, who has lived in Boscawen for 45 years and is the daughter of a former state representative, is being challenged by Republican Robert Forsythe. Alicea was elected in 2012, after Boscawen got its first non-floterial state representative. Forsythe is a stay-at-home father who spent seven years as a medic in the United States Army, where he served in Iraq, Kosovo and 0

New Hampshire home to ‘least positive’ gubernatorial ads, Senate race not far behind

If you’ve been paying attention to the campaign ads this season, you’ve probably heard gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein described as a “failed CEO” and Gov. Maggie Hassan as someone who oversaw “out-of-control” spending – and neither, apparently, is fit to lead New Hampshire. Elsewhere, you might have heard other ads claim that U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is just in Congress to do the president’s bidding, Scott Brown doesn’t really mean it when he says he’s pro-choice, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster is “out of touch with 0

2nd Congressional District candidates call each other absent

Candidates competing in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District accused each other last night of being missing in action and ignoring constituents in favor of following party leaders. In their first debate, Republican state Rep. Marilinda Garcia criticized Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster for not holding town hall meetings, and accused her of putting President Obama’s agenda ahead of constituent concerns. “When they approach her with a concern with a new regulation that’s passed, or something they’re having trouble dealing with . . . she’ll 0

State Senate candidates weigh in on rising electricity costs, long-term energy strategy for New Hampshire

By the start of the next legislative session in January, energy rates will nearly double for more than 100,000 New Hampshire residents. Also by that time, a new state senator will be sitting in the chair to represent Concord and its surrounding towns. During recent interviews with the Monitor, the two candidates for state Senate District 15 outlined sharply different approaches to rising energy costs in New Hampshire. The district includes Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner; 20-year state Sen. Sylvia Larsen of Concord announced her 0

Shaheen criticizes Brown’s energy policy

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is turning the focus to energy this week. Shaheen’s campaign today released a report highlighting votes her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, has taken on energy policy that she says will take New Hampshire in the wrong direction. And tomorrow, the state Democratic Party will host Massachusetts lawmakers and a New Hampshire energy expert to discuss Brown’s energy record. Brown hosted his own event geared toward energy Friday when he met with a Hampton woman at her home to talk about rising 0

Progressive group lists 39 Free Staters on the ballot for the N.H. House

Almost 40 members of the Free State Project are running for seats in New Hampshire’s Legislature this year, including two in Merrimack County District 20, which covers Chichester and Pembroke, according to a progressive group that tracks the libertarian-leaning movement. Granite State Progress is poised to publish its list of 36 Free State Project participants running for office this year, plus three “honorary” members – including incumbent Republican Rep. JR Hoell from Dunbarton and Lydia Harman, a Warner Republican running for state Senate in District 0

In N.H., candidates pushing for constitutional carry

The owner of the Boscawen pizza parlor looked uncomfortably at the handgun strapped to Robert Forsythe’s hip. The gun was legal, Forsythe told him reassuringly. A Republican candidate for a House seat in Merrimack County District 8, Forsythe – who pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit earlier this year – has campaigned almost entirely on Second Amendment issues. “Sometimes,” he said, when asked whether people get nervous around the gun or question him about it. “They never say anything, really.” If 0

In Merrimack County District 27, a Democrat-turned-Republican tries to affect change

Three candidates are on the ballot for two House seats in Merrimack County District 27, a floterial district that includes Concord Wards 1 through 7. State Reps. Chip Rice and Mary Stuart Gile are both seeking re-election on the Democratic ticket. Their opponent, Democrat-turned-Republican Jim McConaha, is making his first bid for elected office. Jim McConaha Earlier this year, Jim McConaha tried to recruit Republican candidates to run for state representative in Concord. It worked. “I think I talked myself into it,” said McConaha, 73. 0

Meet the Merrimack County District 17 candidates

Two candidates will be on the ballot next month to represent Merrimack County District 17, which includes Concord Ward 8 on the Heights. Incumbent Dick Patten, a Democrat, is seeking a third term. His challenger is Republican Chris Wood, whose name has been on at least two previous ballots. Dick Patten Dick Patten has been on the Heights for 62 years. “I’ve lived here all my life, in Concord,” said Patten, a Democrat. “I’ve never moved off the Heights. . . . We’re all Heights 0

Communicating campaign anxieties can work in candidates’ favor

The tones of the subject lines making their way into potential voters’ inboxes are, at times, indistinguishable from pleas you might receive from a down-and-out friend. There was the one late in the evening of Oct. 7: “please, this is critical.” It was U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster’s campaign, saying their team was “a few thousand dollars short” ahead of a “huge budget milestone.” There was another one that arrived about midday on Oct. 8: “news (not great).” This one was from U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s 0

Democrats unopposed in seven of Concord’s 15 House seats

Democrats are running unopposed this cycle in seven of Concord’s 15 seats in the state House of Representatives. Four of those seven candidates are incumbents, and the other three will fill seats formerly held by Democrats. “I actually think it’s a compliment to those that are running for re-election, a lot of the incumbents,” said Rep. Steve Shurtleff, a Concord Democrat and the House majority leader. “Otherwise, I don’t know if it’s because the Republicans may have had a hard time finding people to run. 0

New American citizens excited to vote in U.S. for first time

They began the day as 80 New Hampshire residents from 39 different countries. They left a Concord courtroom as a group of new American citizens. During a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. District Court yesterday, Judge Joseph Laplante congratulated the new citizens and also urged them to exercise all their new rights, including the right to vote. “Your responsibility to yourself, your new country and to your new fellow citizens is to help protect those rights by exercising them,” Laplante said. The Nov. 4 election 0

AG: Havenstein violated campaign finance rules

Walt Havenstein’s campaign violated state campaign finance rules earlier this year but will not face penalties because it has since corrected its errors, the attorney general’s office ruled yesterday. The political committee for Havenstein’s gubernatorial campaign was registered April 2, but its first campaign contribution – a loan from the candidate – and expense had been made almost a month earlier, Associate Attorney General Richard Head wrote in the ruling. The loan was made March 1, and a payment “for strategic consulting services” was made 0

Marilinda Garcia receiving $3,300 monthly salary from campaign

State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, who’s running for the seat in the 2nd Congressional District, is receiving a salary from campaign funds, according to financial disclosure documents made available yesterday. Garcia, a Salem Republican, received $3,335 from the campaign Sept. 30. Garcia, who has worked as an adjunct music teacher at colleges and private schools in the region, is campaigning full time, which is why she is receiving a salary, a campaign official told WMUR. While it’s uncommon, it is legal for a candidate to be 0

Kuster with $1 million, Garcia with $311,000 in final weeks

Incumbent 2nd District U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster had three times the amount of cash on hand her challenger, state Rep. Marilinda Garcia, had by the end of September, according to financial documents available yesterday. Kuster, a Democrat from Hopkinton in her first term in Congress, raised $558,000 between Aug. 21 and Sept. 30, bringing her total raised in this election to $3.15 million. Her campaign spent $1.1 million this period and had $1.1 million on hand at the end of September. Garcia, a Republican from 0