Feltes wins all wards, towns in District 15

Last modified: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Concord attorney Dan Feltes defeated Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger in yesterday’s District 15 state Senate primary.

Feltes, 35, will be the Democrat on the general election ballot to replace outgoing state Sen. Sylvia Larsen, who has held the seat for 20 years. Larsen endorsed 54-year-old Ardinger early in the campaign, but Feltes yesterday won all 10 Concord wards and the three surrounding towns in District 15. The final count came to 3,269 votes for Feltes and 1,398 votes for Ardinger.

Feltes entered his victory party at True Brew Barista in Concord last night to a crowd cheering his name.

“I’m happy to report, we did it,” Feltes said. “We did it because of the fundamental belief that in order to move New Hampshire forward, we can’t afford to leave anyone behind.”

As Feltes announced his victory, Ardinger gathered with a smaller group of family and friends at the Gas Lighter Restaurant in Concord. With a tired smile, she said she had already spoken with Feltes over the phone.

“I told him it was a great experience for me,” she said, “I would never regret going through this.”

And before she went home for the night, Ardinger stopped at the Feltes celebration to address the crowd herself. Standing next to a stack of Feltes signs, the two put their arms around each other’s shoulders.

“I was a better candidate for having Dan as my opponent. . . . . Dan has my full support,” Ardinger said. “We share the same values.”

In Ward 2, Kathleen Brockett was among those who voted for Ardinger. She said the decision had been difficult, but she knew Ardinger from her church and volunteering.

“I think her values are in line with mine,” said Brockett, 66.

As progressive Democrats, the candidates lined up on the issues but stood apart from each other in their life experiences. While some voters were impressed by Ardinger’s eight years on the Concord School Board, others remembered Feltes’s eight years working with low-income and elderly clients at New Hampshire Legal Assistance.

“I tend to go with the female candidate, but he’s fighting for the little guy,” said Anne LaForce, 52.

Sam Denoncour, 55, was standing outside the West Street Ward House in Concord when Feltes walked in to vote. The candidate slapped him on the shoulder and said hello; Denoncour had just cast his ballot for Feltes.

“Be good to get some young blood in the New Hampshire Senate,” he said.

While Hopkinton resident Mary Anne Byrne said Ardinger was a good candidate, she voted for Feltes.

“I think Dan is closer to home and has a better understanding of our needs here in Hopkinton,” she said.

When Byrne met Feltes, she said she also found him to be genuine.

“He’s not a politician,” Byrne said.

“Yet,” her husband Mike added, as they turned to leave.

Feltes will face Republican Lydia Harman of Warner in the general election Nov. 4.

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