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Meredith Hatfield clinches Ward 4 special City Council election

  • Meredith Hatfield holds a sign for herself during the special election for an open Concord City Council Ward 4 seat on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • Edith Chiasson holds a sign for herself during the special election for an open Concord City Council Ward 4 seat on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • John Cook holds a sign for himself during the special election for an open Concord City Council Ward 4 seat on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/4/2019 7:42:46 PM

Meredith Hatfield will be sworn in next week as the newest Concord city councilor.

The senior lawyer at New Hampshire Conservation Law Foundation garnered 149 votes to secure the special Ward 4 city councilor seat Tuesday night. John Cook came in second with 99 votes, followed by Edith Chiasson with 51 votes. None of the candidates have served in a public office before.

Hatfield said she was blown away by people’s support and attributed having a competitive election to part of her success.

“Someone made the comment that there’s such a heightened interest in politics and in what’s happening in our community right now, and I think that definitely contributed,” she said during an interview at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire Tuesday night. “...I think the general interest in what’s happening in our state and in our country probably contributed to that.”

“I do think parking and traffic particularly in our ward are very top of mind for people,” Hatfield continued later, citing two big concerns her new constituents have.

Hatfield has lived in Concord since 2004 and lives with her rescue dog Lulu. She cited her involvement in a neighborhood group tuned into neighborhood developments as sparking her interest in running.

Poll workers reported a steady amount of traffic during the first half of the day, with about 127 voters coming in before noon and 303 voters by 7 p.m. The ward had 3,260 registered voters at the beginning of the day, meaning less than 10% of registered voters came out for the election.

Candidates said voters were mostly interested in parking and snow removal, a hot topic in Ward 4 particularly around the law school and White Park, but also in the slice of downtown covered by the ward.

Hatfield will have just a few months to try the role out before campaigning again. A regular city municipal election will take place this November, with all but two at-large seats up for grabs. 

But Hatfield said she isn’t thinking that far ahead at the moment, saying she “wanted to get through this one” before seriously considering a full term. 

Instead, she said she wants to get involved with the city’s solid waste and transportation advisory committees and continue the conversation around street parking in the ward.

Hatfield replaces Byron Champlin, who is now an At-Large member of the city council.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)


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