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North Country politicians have few competitive primaries

Union Leader Correspondent

September 10. 2012 8:50PM

While it might be a late night for most primary candidates in the state, a fair number of those running for office in the North Country can rest easy until the general election in November.

The recent redistricting of the state House districts mixed things up a bit in two of the North Country's largest municipalities, Berlin and Conway, but the faces are familiar.

Berlin Democrats have a good chance of sending representatives Gary Coulombe, Robert Theberge, and Yvonne Thomas back to Concord. Coos County District 3 has three seats and there are no names on the Republican primary ballot.

That holds true for voters in Coos County District 6, where Democratic Rep. William Hatch of Gorham is the lone candidate for the seat. He has no primary opponent, and no one has signed up for the Republican primary for that seat.

Republican Rep. Gene Chandler, a longtime Bartlett selectmen, is running for the seat in Carroll County District 1, and, with no opponent in the primary, will likely face Gino Funicella, a former Jackson selectmen, who is running unopposed in the Democrat primary.

Former state representative Ed Butler of Hart's Location is assured a spot on the Democratic side of the ballot for the one seat in the county's District 7. The new district includes northern Carroll County towns from Jackson down to Freedom, essentially all the towns which send their students to Kennett High School, plus the small town of Chatham.

Butler's Republican opponent will be decided today. Former state representative Norm Tregenza, now of Conway, is facing Michael Callis of Conway. Tregenza represented the towns of Eaton, Albany, and Madison for the last two years, but resigned late in his term when he moved from Madison .

With two seats open in Carroll County District 3, Susan Ticehurst of Tamworth is the lone Democrat running. In November, she will face two Republicans, Rep. Mark McConkey and Maynard Thomson, both of Freedom. The district covers Albany, Freedom, Madison and Tamworth.

The largest field of candidates comes out of the Conway area, in District 2, where there are three open seats. Both sides of the political aisle have four candidates on the primary ballots. On the Republican side, incumbents Rep. Karen Umberger and Rep. Frank McCarthy, both of Conway, are joined on the ballot by Dick McClure of Hale's Location and Steven Steiner of Conway.

Competing on the Democratic side are former state representatives Tom Buco of Conway and Bob Bridgham of Eaton, who lost their seats in 2010. They share the primary ballot with Conway residents Dick Pollack and Syndi White.

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