Merrimack County District 23

  • Gary Woods

  • Mary Beth Walz

  • Raymond Plante

  • John Martin

  • Fox

Published: 10/16/2020 10:44:56 AM
DISTRICT 23

Merrimack County District 23 (3 seats) represents Bow and Dunbarton.

Samantha Fox

Party: Democrat

Age: 32

Town of Residence: Bow

Occupation: Manager

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: Yes; 1 term

What specific policy do you see as most vital? There are a lot of very important policy areas we will need to make progress on in the coming session. As a young mother, I am keenly aware of how much needs to be done to better support working families in New Hampshire. I was self-employed when I had my son and returned to work in three weeks with a newborn in tow. Last year, my son had a serious medical issue that pulled me from work to take care of him and go regularly to doctors. Policies that take into account the real, lived experiences of our neighbors throughout the state are more critical than ever. Paid Family Medical Leave needs to pass. No one is immune from the kind of emergency that can require you to take care of yourself or a loved one. We also need to take a hard look at the childcare crisis that has always been brewing and is escalating quickly due to COVID-19. It is not hard to see how access to things like childcare and affordable housing ties into workforce shortages and lack of resources for retirees. The future will reflect how we support our families today.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? In my first term as a State Representative I learned just how tight the budget in New Hampshire is. As a state we are seriously underfunding many programs and the burden falls to the municipalities and local property tax payers. The people who are hurt the most are the children and the elderly. We need to take a hard look at how the costs have downshifted from the state to municipalities to property taxes over the past couple decades. We need to elect people who are willing to have the tough conversations about what the future should look like and how we are raising the revenues necessary to get us there. It shouldn’t be controversial to say that if teachers and firefighters are having to show up and fight for the benefits they were promised, we are missing the mark. The New Hampshire advantage is its people and we cannot fail to invest in them. COVID-19 has cast a pretty big light on the gaps and shortfalls and while we will definitely need to make some difficult budget decisions in the coming session, we need to work on policies that will move us forward.

John Martin

Party: Republican

Age: 70

Town of Residence: Bow

Occupation: Retired, NH DOC and US Army

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: No, but served 2016

What specific policy do you see as most vital? The state needs to avoid raising any taxes. This lockdown has devastated small business and employees and recovery will take time and energy, not to mention capitol. New taxes, tax increases, or broad based taxes will fall most heavily on them.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? The state will have to watch every budget dollar carefully. No new massive spending projects should not be started unless funds have been available. State agencies need to pare their budgets and eliminate costs, but not employees, until the budget picture is stabilized

Raymond Plante

Party: Republican

Age: 31

Town of Residence: Dunbarton, NH

Occupation: U.S. Army Aviator, Airline Pilot

What specific policy do you see as most vital? Protecting our 2nd Amendment, budget management without any income or sales tax, protecting and providing for our Veterans, and environmental conservation.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? Reorganize state departments and cut spending on unnecessary programs and departments.

Mary Beth Walz

Party: Democrat

Age: 67

Town of Residence: Bow

Occupation: Lawyer

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: 6 terms

What specific policy do you see as most vital? The most vital matter facing the legislature will be the budget; where the government chooses to spend taxpayer dollars is a statement of its policies and priorities. Our first priority must be to address the devastating harm caused by the pandemic. We must protect and assist our neediest and most vulnerable while maintaining basic governmental functions. Once we know the funding available to New Hampshire from state taxes and any federal assistance, we will be able to determine the most effective allocation of our limited resources to grow our state.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? If re-elected, I expect to continue to be a member of the Finance Committee which is charged with crafting the state budget. I expect the Committee will continue its long-time practice of working closely with the department heads to ensure critical needs are met. After meeting the state’s obligations, I will listen to the community and work to find the right balance between wants and needs.

Gary Woods

Party: Democrat

Age: 78

Town of Residence: Bow

Occupation: Retired Orthopaedic Hand surgeon

Incumbent? If so, how many terms: 1

What specific policy do you see as most vital? COVID-19 will be far and away the most dynamic force in the next legislative session. Policy in every dimension of New Hampshire life will need to be reassessed. This includes ongoing social directives, testing, treatments, impact on business (especially small), education, healthcare delivery, and more.

How do you plan to address the significant budget challenges our state will face in the months ahead? Individually, I have a responsibility to be attentive to all legislation, but especially in my committee (Health and Human services) to be diligent in formulating good policy so the Fiscal Committee or Commerce Committee will have the strong requisite foundation to make budget recommendations. In a broader context, state policy is needed to close loop holes currently enjoyed by large corporation such as Amazon. Use of existing funds and potential federal funds need close scrutiny to be sure those most in need are cared for: out of work, schools, small businesses, healthcare coverage. Even as a state legislator, I have a responsibility to maintain vigilance regarding pending federal legislation e.g. the CARES Act, so our Senators and Congressional Delegation understand our needs and can advocate for our “fair share”

■Mariya Markova, a Republican from Bow, did not reply by deadline.




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