September 12. 2018 8:46AM

Gatsas, Chynoweth to square off for Executive Council seat

New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER — A pair of wealthy businessmen-turned-politicians square off this fall to replace Chris Pappas on the Executive Council, who left his seat to run for Congress.

Former Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas won the Republican nomination while Gray Chynoweth, an executive with Dean Kamen’s research and development empire, won the Democratic nomination over former Manchester alderman and longtime activist Garth Corriveau.

Chynoweth’s win became a mild upset mainly because Corriveau had run in Hillsborough County in 2016 and had collected far more endorsements from party regulars and union locals than Chynoweth, who has never run for any office.

While Chynoweth has devoted his recent years to working on Kamen’s medical product development business, he has some history in party politics.

Chynoweth had been state chairman of the New Hampshire Young Democrats and his late father, Graham, was a popular Democratic lawmaker who had represented suburbs north of Concord.

Just before 10:30 p.m., Corriveau conceded and pledged his support to Chynoweth.

Chynoweth won Manchester with 4,245 votes compared to Corriveau's 4,077 according to unofficial results from the City Clerk's Office.

With 77 percent of the precincts reporting, Chynoweth had pulled ahead with 56 percent of the vote and a lead of more than 1,600 votes over Corriveau.

Executive Councilor Chris Pappas’ decision to run for Congress had touched off a spirited Democratic primary and a lesser-visible Republican primary to replace him.

This 4th District makes up 20 percent of the state and encompasses the city of Manchester and suburbs around it while stretching all the way north to Loudon and all the way east to Barrington.

The Democratic contest became fought over campaign cash.

Former Manchester Alderman Corriveau said he was the only candidate to refuse corporate money; at one point he slammed primary rival Chynoweth of Manchester for soliciting “$7,000 from big businessmen in the Millyard.”

“If it is just about the money, vote for Gray. If it is about who do you stand with, I ask for your vote,” Corriveau said.

Chynoweth said he disclosed where he has raised $130,000 for the race early on.

“I don’t think this race is about money. I think you need money to run this race,” Chynoweth said.

“I honestly find it insulting that you think that because they have resources and support my campaign that means I can’t represent middle-class voters,” Chynoweth said.

Chynoweth filed his campaign expenses in June because he formed a political action committee. Corriveau raised less than $20,000.

While Chynoweth had the money advantage, Corriveau had gotten more grass roots support from past colleagues of his own on the Manchester city and school boards along with labor unions.

Corriveau was the Democratic nominee for Hillsborough County attorney in 2016.

This is Chynoweth’s first campaign for elective office.

In the GOP primary, former Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas defeated former state Rep. Jane Cormier of Hooksett.

Gatsas raised more than $70,000 early on in his race.

Cormier said while big business owners were backing Gatsas she has the support of social conservatives as a strong opponent of legal abortions and the rights of gun owners.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Garth Corriveau won the city of Manchester. That error has been corrected.