State Senate District 7: Youseff vs. HosmerBy GARRY RAYNO
State House Bureau
November 04. 2012 10:33PM
CONCORD - The two candidates for the District 7 State Senate seat have different views of government and what the Republican-dominated Legislature accomplished over the last two years.
Andrew Hosmer, a 48-year-old businessman from Laconia, believes the last two years were a missed opportunity, while Josh Youssef, a 36-year-old businessman, believes more needs to be done to curtail spending, taxes and the judicial system.
The last two years were "an opportunity to focus on growing the economy and expanding our jobs, and instead they got hung up on social issues and partisan politics," Hosmer said.
"We need to elect people with experience in small business and people more moderate in temperament who can drill down into an issue and make thoughtful decisions."
Youssef could not be reached for this article but on his website he states, "I am a proponent of small government, personal responsibility and a strict adherence to the principles that were crafted so thoughtfully and artfully by the founding fathers of this state and of this country. Unfortunately, after many years of misguided leadership, New Hampshire has found itself in dire need of a change."
Hosmer, who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate District 4 seat two years ago before the political boundaries were redrawn this year, said he would not have supported the cuts to the university and community college systems that lawmakers made.
"The community college system needs to be accessible and affordable for everyone," Hosmer said. "It's a great resource for the state and we need to make sure not to price it out of reach for people."
Youssef has said he supports the budget cuts to higher education and suggests state higher education be privatized. To attract new business and jobs to the state, Youssef has proposed a business tax holiday for new business that relocate to New Hampshire.
He also proposes eliminating sales, income, view, luxury and capital gains taxes, eliminating or reducing the business enterprise and business profits taxes, and reducing property taxes.
Youssef calls himself pro-family and pro-life and says he opposes judicial activism.
"I pledge to introduce and support legislation to completely eliminate judicial activism and to impose sharp penalties for judicial officials who do not uphold their oaths of office," Youssef wrote on his website. "I pledge to support a return of the control of the judiciary to the representatives of the people - the Legislature."
Youssef has been in a well-publicized court battle with his ex-wife over child custody and support payments.
Youssef took his allegations of judicial misconduct to the House Redress of Grievances Committee, which agreed with him on some of the issues he raised.
Senate Republican leaders approached Youssef after he won the primary and suggested he open up his court records or consider dropping out of the race.
While Youssef backs much of the agenda of House leadership the past two years such as right-to-work and judicial reform, Hosmer has grave concerns about that agenda.
The opposition to expanding the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act concerns Hosmer, who notes the single largest employee in the Lakes Region is Lakes Region General Hospital. He said he would like an opportunity to look again at health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, which the current legislature rejected.
Hosmer was born in West Springfield, Mass., and graduated from the University of Massachusetts and Suffolk University Law School. He worked in the district attorney's office in Hampden County in Massachusetts until 1996 when he moved to New Hampshire to join his wife's family's business, AutoServ.
He, his wife and their four children live in Laconia.
Youssef was born in Laconia and attended Syracuse University and the University of New Hampshire.
He owns Same Day Computer, a computer-repair business. He has one son.