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At the polls: Concord state rep primary has big field



Monitor staff
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Concord residents headed to the polls today have the largest amount of state representative candidates to choose from in six years.

The field of 27 contenders includes 10 women and 17 men, the biggest field of House candidates since 2012, according to Concord elections data.

There are a few firsts to watch today. For the first time in several years, District 27 – which represents Ward 1-7 in Concord – is without its long-time Democrat incumbents, Mary Stuart Gile and Chip Rice. Gile, who was the driving force behind the paid family and medical leave bill this year, has retired after serving as a state rep since 1997. Rice died early this year in the middle of his eighth term.

The fight for their two seats is between Rebecca McWilliams, Carl Soderstrom, Art Ellison and Eric Gallager.

District 17 incumbent Dick Patten will be facing a woman challenger for the first time since he began serving in 2010. His opponent, Safiya Wazir, is an Afghani refugee – if she wins this contest and then the general against Republican Dennis Soucy, she could be the first refugee to hold office in the state, said secretary of state Bill Gardner recently. 

Floterial district Merrimack 10 has three open seats that Mel Myler, Joel Prescott, Mary Jane Wallner, Mary Kusturin and David Luneau, of Hopkinton, will be vying for on the Democrat side; Luke Dimond and John French VI are the Republican contenders.

District 14 will see a contest between Jim McKay and Roy Schweiker, both Democrats.