Schultz wins Democratic primary for state rep in Concord Heights

  • Poll workers wrap up after counting the votes in a special election for state representative at the Havenwood-Heritage Heights retirement community in Concord’s Ward 9 on Tuesday, May 30. Kris Schultz defeated Marc Lacroix in the contested Democratic primary, 119-68. NICK REID—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kris Schultz won the contested Democratic primary for state representative in a special election in Concord’s Ward 9 on Tuesday.

Schultz, a 47-year-old communications worker and political consultant, defeated opponent Marc Lacroix by a 119-68 vote, according to results announced at 8 p.m. by the city clerk.

“I’m honored to have the Democratic nomination, and I’m going to fight hard to earn every vote and continue to fight for health care for all and a raise in the minimum wage and a fair and moral budget,” Schultz said in a phone interview.

Twenty-nine ballots were cast for Republican Michael Feeley, who ran uncontested.

The general election is set for July 18 for Merrimack County’s District 18, which covers the area to the north of Loudon Road between Ormond Street and Sheep Davis Road. The Democratic incumbent, 85-year-old Andrew deTreville, resigned in February.

Although Concord is sometimes considered an unassailably Democratic city, Schultz said her ward in the Heights neighborhood has chosen a Republican representative in a special election as recently as the past decade, “so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

She said the summertime campaign season will come with its pros and cons: Many voters will likely be on vacation during the mid-July election, but on the other hand, she plans to take advantage of the weather by organizing barbecues to get to know her would-be constituents in the run-up.

Whether it’s cookouts or coffee, Schultz said, the district lends itself to centralized gatherings, because the predominance of apartment complexes – some with restrictions against door-knocking – can make it difficult for politicians to connect with voters.

“For my targeted universe, I literally knocked on every door that was knockable at least once,” she said. “I was really proud. The district is manageable in that way.”

That experience cemented for her the feeling that the voters in her district “care about a lot of the things I care about, too,” she said.

“Some of the big items I care about, like health care and certainly the minimum wage, spot-on,” she said. “Folks care about it just as much as I do.”

Schultz has said her own experience with the country’s health care system, after she was hospitalized without insurance, helped her to understand the importance of programs such as Medicaid and the federal Affordable Care Act. She was labeled with a pre-existing condition and denied coverage, eventually declaring bankruptcy under the weight of her medical bills, she said.

Both Democratic candidates campaigned with signs outside the polling place at the Havenwood-Heritage Heights retirement community on Christian Avenue. Lacroix said he was there from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Their dedication wasn’t matched, however, by most voters. With only one contested race in the offseason election, fewer than 8 percent of the 2,780 registered voters in the district cast a ballot.

If the Democratic votes were split evenly, it would have taken only 94 votes to proceed to the general election, or 3.4 percent of the electorate.

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at