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Public office: It's for the people
New Hampshire is wrapping up a legislative session full of drama and controversy, turmoil and accomplishment. For people of every political persuasion there were issues to inspire and to anger. In all of it, freshmen legislators played a huge role. And that is worth keeping in mind next week, when the filing period for state and county offices is open.
From now until next Friday, anyone interested in holding an elected office at the state or county level can sign up to run for it. At this moment you might be thinking, “What, are you crazy?”
No, but maybe you are — crazy enough to run for public office, that is.
Did you know that most state senators in this current term are or have been small business owners? You do not have to be a lawyer or a millionaire or a millionaire lawyer to serve (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
It is true that holding public office takes a great deal of time and energy. Some of those small business owners are leaving after only one term because they have to return to their businesses. But public office was never meant to be a permanent gig. Public-minded citizens serve as they can, then move on.
Maybe you are one of those people who was enraged or excited by what went on in Concord in the past two years. Maybe you thought you could do a better job than your own state representative or county commissioner. There is only one way to find out, isn’t there?
Did you know that New Hampshire’s House districts are so small that candidates have been known to win while spending less than $100?
Anyone interested in running for Congress, governor, Executive Council or county office must file with the Secretary of State’s Office in Concord. Those running for state representative file with their town or city clerk. (Municipal races are in odd-numbered years, so don’t go to town hall next week looking to run for town council.)
Representative government works only when good people come forward to participate. Maybe you are one of them.
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