June 06. 2017 8:52PM

Cavanaugh cruises to big Democratic primary win

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader


KEVIN CAVANAUGH 

Manchester Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh coasted to a huge state Senate District 16 Democratic primary victory over Manchester lawyer Jim Normand on Tuesday.

With all seven precincts reporting, Cavanaugh earned 69 percent of the vote, defeating Normand, 1,374 to 624.

Cavanaugh took 70 percent in the city against Normand, who represented Manchester on the Executive Council and in the New Hampshire House.

Normand’s only win was in Candia, where he beat Cavanaugh 51-39.

This special election is to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Scott McGilvray, who died suddenly at 51 in March.

“I look forward to talking with voters over the coming weeks about our message that has clearly resonated with people in this primary election,” Cavanaugh, 51, said in a statement.

“Folks are eager to send another person like Scott McGilvray to the Senate — someone who has a fresh, common-sense perspective and who will put forward new ideas to help hard-working Granite Staters.”

Normand, 63, conceded a half-hour after the polls closed at 7 p.m.

“He has a grass roots base that is important to have; you have to commend Kevin, and I did. He was able to marshal the support that will be critical in the general election in July,” Normand said.

“We ran a strong race and I thought I had something to offer. It looks like I will be finding other ways to help other than public office.”

On July 25, Cavanaugh goes up against Republican David Boutin of Hooksett, who voluntarily resigned from the seat in 2016.

Boutin congratulated Cavanaugh, but said he’s too much of a liberal spender.

“As an alderman Kevin Cavanaugh has advocated for huge increases in government spending, and for overriding the city’s tax cap — the working families and small businesses in District 16 simply can’t afford any more increased taxes,” Boutin said in a statement.

Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said Boutin’s record shows he is against spending enough money for higher education and other “critical issues.”

GOP Chairman Jeanie Forrester said the choice is clear between Boutin’s fiscally responsible approach and Cavanaugh’s support for “reckless spending” and higher taxes.

Jason Allen Dubrow of Dunbarton is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for the seat.

The district includes Manchester Wards 1,2 and 12 along with the towns of Bow, Candia, Dunbarton and Hooksett.

Cavanaugh said his 32 years working for the state’s largest landline telephone company, currently Fairpoint Communications, gave him a unique “blue-collar perspective.” He’s represented Ward 1 on the Manchester Board of Aldermen since November 2015.

klandrigan@unionleader.com