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Mayoral rematch: Craig and Gatsas set to face off in Manchester's November election

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 19. 2017 8:05PM
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and challenger Joyce Craig run into each other at Ward 11 polls Tuesday morning. They wished each other good luck. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



MANCHESTER — Get ready for the rematch.

Joyce Craig and incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas, who went head to head in 2015, finished 1-2 in Tuesday’s primary election according to unofficial results from City Clerk Matt Normand.

Craig finished first with 5,800 votes, with Gatsas placing second with 4,987.

Gatsas is seeking his fifth term, while Craig is looking to become the first woman to be elected mayor in the Queen City.

“I’m energized by tonight’s results,” Craig said in a statement. “Residents of Manchester said loud and clear that they are ready for a change in the mayor’s office. We have a lot of work to do, and we will keep knocking on doors, making phone calls, and having conversations with voters across the city to succeed in November.”

In 2015, Gatsas won the November race by 64 votes following a recount.

Tuesday’s unofficial results reverse the final tallies in the 2015 primary. That year Gatsas won with 5,188 votes, with Craig receiving 4,557.

In the 2015 primary, Gatsas received 42.5 percent of the vote. This time around, the percentage climbed to 46 percent.

“I look at tonight with great optimism given that I outperformed my primary performance two years ago,” said Gatsas in a statement. “I look forward to the next 40-plus days of hard campaigning, meeting voters, and talking about the issues that matter. This will be a hard-fought general election where the contrast between our visions for Manchester will be clear.”

Gatsas finished as the top vote-getter in each of his previous four primaries, and each time went on to win the general election.

Tuesday’s turnout was moderate, with 10,996 registered voters — roughly 19.6 percent — of registered voters casting ballots.

Regular city meeting attendee Glenn RJ Ouellette finished third in the mayor’s race with 138 votes, while Joshua D. Dallaire was fourth with 71.

As of Monday, Craig had raised more money than Gatsas, according to campaign finance reports filed with Normand’s office.

On Sept. 11, Craig reports raising $308,152 while spending $69,543. Gatsas filed on Monday, reporting $270,815 in funds raised, and $90,935 spent.

Tuesday’s primary election also narrowed the field of candidates for alderman and school board seats in several wards across the city.

• In Ward 1, incumbent alderman Kevin Cavanaugh, who won a special election for the Senate District 16 seat this summer, will square off against Chris Stewart in November. Cavanaugh received 1,014 votes, with Stewart second at 575.

• Will Stewart and Bob O’Sullivan are the final candidates for the title of Ward 2 aldermen in the Nov. 7 municipal election, after emerging as the top two vote-getters in a field of five contenders Tuesday. Stewart received 591 votes, O’Sullivan 248.

• Incumbent Alderman Chris Herbert finished second in Ward 4, and will oppose challenger Stephen Mathieu this fall. Mathieu received 273 votes to Herbert’s 231.

• In Ward 6, Elizabeth Ann Moreau won a special election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Alderman Nick Pappas through the end of this year. Moreau will be sworn in prior to the next aldermanic meeting in October, joining Alderman Barbara Shaw of Ward 9 as one of two women on the board. In the Ward 6 primary election, Moreau was first with 529 votes, while Peter Macone was second with 438.

• On the school side in Ward 6, Dan Bergeron was first with 565 votes, and Jon DiPietro second with 461.
In Ward 7, longtime alderman Bill Shea was first with 402 votes. He will go up against Brenda Noiseux in November, who received 232 votes on Tuesday.

• In Ward 8, retired firefighter and former alderman, state senator and representative Betsi DeVries was first with 505 votes, with John Cataldo second with 458.

• Longtime Ward 9 Alderman Barbara Shaw finished second on Tuesday to former city fire chief James Burkush, who received 384 votes. Shaw garnered 377 votes.

• In Ward 12, incumbent Alderman Keith Hirschmann will go up against Hassan Essa in November. Hirschmann received 394 votes Tuesday, with Essa receiving 289. On the school board side, incumbent Connie Van Houten was first with 357 votes. She will face Kelly Anne Thomas in November, who received 323 votes.

• In the special state primary election to fill the vacant state representative seat for Hillsborough District 15 (Ward 8), Democrat Erika Connors ran unopposed and received 484 votes, while Albert MacArthur Jr. was tops on the Republican side with 400; Andy Parent received 320.

The city’s general election will be held Nov. 7. Ballots will also include a question on whether to legalize Keno in city bars and restaurants.

pfeely@unionleader.com


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