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September 11. 2012 11:00PM

Bragdon wins Dist. 11 Senate GOP primary

MERRIMACK — Although town councilor Daniel Dwyer received overwhelming support from Merrimack residents for the newly formed District 11 state Senate seat, his opponent, Senate President Peter Bragdon, managed to obtain the majority of votes in other communities.

Bragdon will now move on to compete in the general election in November.

“I look forward to this next step and getting back to work,” Bragdon said last night after the results were announced.

As of election time, he had obtained 2,685 votes compared to Daniel Dwyer’s 1,789. Those numbers included results from the towns of Merrimack, Amherst and Milford. Wilton had not reported its election results as of press time.

Dwyer made a big effort in Merrimack where he garnered about 370 more votes than Bragdon. However, Bragdon managed to significantly make up the votes in Amherst and Milford.

“I felt good throughout the day. Obviously, Merrimack was a new town for me,” said Bragdon, adding he felt confident about support in Amherst and Milford, where he obtained 80 percent and 75 percent of the votes, respectively.

Bragdon said he had a chance to see Dwyer earlier in the evening when the results were being announced in Merrimack, saying they were respectful with one another.

“I think it was a clean race,” said Bragdon.

Bragdon, 49, was elected to the state Senate in 2004, and currently serves as Senate president. Throughout the past few weeks, Bragdon has met with area rotary clubs and taxpayer groups, spending his weekends putting up signs and participating in parades.

He is the former president of Achieve! Technology, an Amherst software company, and currently serves as a member of the Milford School Board. Bragdon is opposed to a sales or income tax, and says he will try to find a way to decrease the toll burden for Merrimack residents, adding he is committed to reducing the tax burden for small businesses.

Dwyer, 49, said earlier this month that although he is the outsider in this race, he worked hard to get his name out there in all of the communities.

“I am going to win. I am going to surprise everybody in this state,” Dwyer said previously. “I have been grassroots, and I have been seen. Those people are going to go into the booth, and Dwyer is a name that will not sound foreign to them.”

Dwyer, a real estate developer since 1995, has been a member of the town council since 2010. Previously, he served as a state representative from 1984-1986.

In Amherst, Bragdon received 942 votes and Dwyer obtained 235. In Merrimack, Bragdon received 900 votes compared to Dwyer’s 1,271. And, in Milford, Bragdon collected 843 votes and Dwyer gathered 283.

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Kimberly Houghton may be reached at khoughton@newstote.com.

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