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State Senate District 9: Sanborn vs. Nyquist

Union Leader Correspondent

November 04. 2012 10:33PM

NASHUA - The candidates in the District 9 State Senate race are Democrat Lee Nyquist, New Boston's longtime town moderator and trial attorney at Shaheen and Gordon, and Republican Andy Sanborn, a businessman and former senator who staved off a fierce primary challenge.

Nyquist said he has long admired the work of New Hampshire's citizen legislature - but it's drifted away from its history of moderation. Because of this belief, he stepped into the fray as a self-described moderate. He was also driven to run because of what he called the myriad anti-abortion bills that arose during the 2012 legislature.

"Discussions with (a woman's) family, her medical provider, and her clergy - I think this is probably the most basic human right that we all have, and I felt it was under attack," he said.

Like gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne, Sanborn has signed Cornerstone's Family First Pledge, vowing to defend life from conception.

For Nyquist, the election is a referendum on whether "we're going to live in a state like the one that we lived in before 2010, where good will and bipartisanship ruled the day ... or if we're going to move on a permanent basis into a Tea Party environment where our jobs and the economy are threatened by their policies."

Sanborn views the race as a referendum between two different personalities - a sound spender or a reckless one.

"It comes down to whether or not the voters want a small business owner who's proven himself as a senator to understand what we need to do to get people back to work ... versus a candidate who has refused to say, 'I'm not going to raise your taxes,'" Sanborn said.

Sanborn, who owns The Draft restaurant in Concord, lost his bid for the District 7 seat in 2008 before running successfully in 2010. Having resigned from the Senate upon moving to Bedford this year, he was accused of carpetbagging by Rep. Ken Hawkins during a bitter race for the nomination.

Sanborn said though New Hampshire's population has remained stagnant, state spending has increased nearly three times faster than inflation, from almost $7 billion to almost $12 billion. Regulation is also out of control, he said.

"I think attorney Nyquist and I are diametrically opposed on what we believe a conservative is," Sanborn said. "I'm a guy that doesn't believe we should be raising taxes, and he's a guy that celebrates raising taxes."

He lambasts his opponent for a recent fundraising plea to supporters, in which Nyquist said if elected he would defend the interests of the courts. The letter, written on his firm's letterhead, stated that "a strong factor motivating my run for the Senate is my intention to be an advocate inside the Senate for our courts, our clients and our future clients."

Under redistricting rules established earlier this year, Merrimack was removed from the 14-town District 9. Dublin was added, as well as Fitzwilliam, Hancock, Jaffrey, Peterborough, Richmond, Sharon, Temple and Troy.

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