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Who’s filed on primary ballot

Monitor staff
Published: 6/20/2020 2:07:24 PM

Hundreds of candidates filed for political office last week – from gubernatorial hopefuls to state representatives. Here’s a rundown of the major contested primaries:

Democratic Party Governor

Two Concord Democrats are running for their party’s gubernatorial nomination: state Sen. Dan Feltes and Executive Councillor Andru Volinsky.

Feltes is the majority leader of the Democratically-controlled Senate, and served as a legal aid lawyer for New Hampshire Legal Assistance and in a private practice of mediation. He’s held his Senate seat since 2014.

Volinsky is the second term executive councilor for District 2, which spans the state. An attorney at Bernstein Shur in Concord, he was the lead litigator in the Claremont education case and formerly worked as a public defender in Tennessee.

Executive Council

New Hampshire’s Executive Council District 2 has in recent years been a launching pad for gubernatorial bids. 2016 Democratic nominee Colin Van Ostern and 2020 hopeful Andru Volinsky both held the seat while starting their campaigns.

Perhaps that explains the rush of candidates for the unusual district, a thin strip that snakes its way from the Vermont border in Cheshire County, through Concord and over to the Maine border. Six Democrats are running for the position.

Leah Plunkett is the Associate Dean for Administration at the University of New Hampshire law school in Concord and a former legal aid lawyer for New Hampshire Legal Assistance.

John Shea, of Nelson, is a former Executive Council seeking to reclaim the District 2 seat, which he held from 2006 to 2010. He was a former Keene city councilor and state representative in the 1960s.

Emmett Soldati, of Somersworth, is the owner of the Teatotaller Café in Somersworth, known for its support of the LGBTQ community in southeastern New Hampshire and as a presidential campaign stop. His father, Lincoln Soldati, ran unsuccessfully for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District in 2018.

Jay Surdukowski is a Concord lawyer at Sulloway and Hollis specializing in defense litigation for hospitals and doctors. He served as a campaign counsel for Democratic gubernatorial nominees Molly Kelly and Colin Van Ostern.

Craig Thompson is a first-term Democratic representative from Harrisville, elected in 2018. He owns a livestock farm in Harrisville, the Mayfair Farm, and where he distributes pork and lamb.

Cinde Warmington is a partner at the Concord law firm Shaheen & Gordon, where she provides legal assistance to health care providers and organizations. Warmington is the present chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party Platform Committee.

Meanwhile, three Democrats are running to unseat Republican Ted Gatasas of Manchester in Executive Council District 4, which includes Hooksett.

Those candidates are Kola Adewumi of Hooksett, Jerome Duval of Manchester, and Mark Mackenzie of Manchester.

The winner of that primary will seek to return the seat to Democratic hands, after the departure of former Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, who has been elected Congressman of the state’s First Congressional District.

State Senate

Most Democratic state senate races have uncontested primaries, and many consist of incumbents. But in Concord, where Sen. Dan Feltes is leaving his post to run for governor, the race is relatively crowded.

Three Democrats are running to take over the District 15 seat, which covers Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner.

Candace Bouchard is a current six-term Concord city councilor and a former New Hampshire House representative, where she served for eight two-year terms. She chaired the House Public Works and Highways Committee and House Transportation Committees at different times during her tenure.

Paul Hodes is a former U.S. Representative for New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District, and an unsuccessful candidate for U.S Senate in 2010. He’s a musician known for a collaboration with his wife Peggo.

And Becky Whitley is a former policy director for the Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative under the health care advocacy group New Futures. She also has worked as a consultant for the Environmental Defense Fund and as an attorney for the New Hampshire Disability Rights Center.

Republican Party U.S. Senator

A wide range of Republican candidates have thrown their hat in the ring to try to oust two-term Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, in what is expected to be one of the most expensive seats in the country.

Gerard Beloin, of Colebrook, is the owner of Bluestone Inc., a roofing company, and has a degree in zoology, according to WMUR.

Don Bolduc is a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Army from Stratham, with two Purple Hearts and five Bronze Star medals. He has since served as an advocate for the treatment of post-traumatic stress in veterans.

Andy Martin, of Manchester, is an attorney and a long time political aspirant, who has run for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and New Hampshire several times since 1978. He is recently known for filing an unsuccessful lawsuit in Hawaii against then-Sen. Barack Obama to obtain Obama’s short-form birth certificate.

Corky Messner, of Wolfeboro, is an attorney who founded a law firm in Colorado that now employs 100 lawyers and spans nine cities. He is also a former Army Ranger who served in the Cold War.


On the Republican side, Gov. Chris Sununu is running for a third term in office after first being elected in 2016. He was formerly an Executive Councilor from Newfields and the CEO of Waterville Valley Resort. Previously, he worked as an environmental engineer cleaning up hazardous waste sites, according to his campaign website.

Sununu has two challengers from within his own party. He is being challenged by “Nobody” – the legal name of a Keene resident – and Karen Testerman, of Franklin

“Nobody,” formerly Rich Paul, is a Free State activist who previously ran for Keene mayor.

Testerman is a Franklin City Councilor and conservative activist who founded the socially conservative advocacy group Cornerstone. She’s a former chairwoman of the Merrimack County Republican Committee.

Executive Council

There are two Republican candidates fighting to succeed Democrat Andru Volinsky in Executive Council District 2 as he runs for governor.

Jim Beard, of Lempster, trained as a pilot and had a career in aircraft manufacturing overseas.

Stewart Levenson, who ran for the Republican nomination for the Second Congressional District presently occupied by Rep. Annie Kuster, is a physician and one of the whistleblowers at the Manchester Veterans Administration hospital.

State Senate

In District 17, incumbent Republican Sen. John Reagan of Deerfield, is being challenged by Janet DelFuoco.

Reagan is a financial planning consultant, former six-year House representative and former and former Baltimore fire fighter. He’s served in the Senate since 2012.

DelFuoco is a nurse and self-proclaimed “witch.” She is presently suing the state’s Department of Justice in federal court, alleging that the department illegally monitored her social media and used it to charge her with threatening judges on Facebook, according to GraniteGrok, a conservative website. She was found not guilty in Strafford County Superior Court.

The district comprises Raymond, Nottingham, Northwood, Deerfield, Allenstown, Pembroke, Epsom, Pittsfield, Chichester, Strafford and Loudon.

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