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State senate races lead to November fight

  • Don Winterton of Hooksett switched his target state senate to state representative after he was disqualified from running for the former office because he had voted in Florida in 2011. 

Monitor staff
Published: 9/14/2016 1:06:05 AM

Although the state Senate will be a hard-fought political arena in November when party control will be up for grabs, the party primaries were fairly quiet in the Concord region.

The race in District 16, which includes Bow and Dunbarton as well as two other towns and four wards in Manchester, received the most attention but much of that came when GOP hopeful Donald Winterton of Hooksett was disqualified because he had voted in Florida in 2011.

His withdrawal means three-term state Rep. Joseph Duarte of Candia won Tuesday’s Republican primary for the right to replace Sen. David Boutin, who did not seek re-election.

On the Democratic side of the district, the president of the state’s largest teachers’ union, Scott McGilvray of Hooksett, won easily against Kolawole Ernest Adewumi, a newcomer who did not appear to actively campaign.

Democrats see District 16 as a place where they might pick up a seat as they try to take control of the Senate, which has a 14-10 Republican majority.

In District 2, a pair of Republicans faced off for the party nomination to replace Jeanie Forrester, a Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Bob Giuda, a former Marine fighter pilot and three-term member of the New Hampshire House of Representative, faced Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton, a one-term state representative and business manager in the Newfound School District.

Results were too close to call as the Monitor went to press with Giuda clinging to a 51 to 49 percent lead.

In public forums the two disagreed most on how to respond to the drug crisis, with Giuda, a former FBI agent, open to a discussion about some decriminalization because he said the hard-line stance wasn’t working, while Gallagher favored more flexibility for judges in sentencing.

On the Democratic side, Charlie Chandler of Warner, who has held a number of local and state elected positions, ran unopposed.

Senate District 2 consists of 27 towns in three counties, including Center Harbor, Danbury, Hill, Meredith, New Hampton, Sanbornton, Tilton and Wilmot.

In District 8, which stretches west from Weare almost to the Connecticut River, two Republicans faced off for their party primary.

Ruth Ward, a retired nurse practitioner who was born in Sweden and became a U.S. citizen in 1969, and who has called Stoddard home since 1995, faced Jim Beard of Lempster, who had a career in the aviation industry.

The two were deadlocked at 50 percent apiece as the Monitor went to press.

Democrat John Garvey of New London, an attorney who teaches at University of New Hampshire School of Law, ran unopposed on that party’s ballot. John Jeskevicius of Weare ran a write-in campaign.

The District 8 seat has been vacant since Jerry Little was confirmed as banking commissioner in April. Before Little, who was elected in 2014, the seat was held by Bob Odell of Lempster for 12 years.

Among its 24 towns in four counties are Bradford, Deering, Hillsboro, Newbury, New London, Sutton and Weare.

In District 15, which includes Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Weare, incumbent Dan Feltes, a Democrat, was unopposed. The GOP didn’t even have a name on the ballot.

District 7, which stretches from Webster to Gilford, had two unopposed races, featuring incumbent Andrew Hosmer, a Democrat, and Republican Harold French.

The same lack of primary contests occurred in District 17, which stretches from Pembroke east past Loudon. Incumbent John Reagan, a Republican, and Democrat Nancy Fraher were both unopposed.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313, dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog granitegeek.org, as well as moderator of the monthly Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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