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February 20. 2013 10:34PM

Nashua Rep. LaPlante resigns for health reasons

NASHUA - State Rep. Roland LaPlante, 79, is stepping down from his seat in the House of Representatives, citing ongoing health issues.

LaPlante's resignation letter was read aloud in Concord on Wednesday, and LaPlante declined an interview with the Union Leader.

His wife, Sally, said LaPlante has been sick for quite a while, but did not elaborate on his health condition.

LaPlante first served as a local state representative for District 35, Ward 8, from 2008 to 2010. He lost during his re-election attempt in 2010, but won a seat during the election last November. LaPlante was assigned to the Transportation Committee.

LaPlante, a Democrat, is one of three Ward 8 state representatives. The other two ward representatives are Democrats Daniel Hansberry and Mary Nelson.

The process to fill LaPlante's vacant House seat is complicated. According to City Clerk Paul Bergeron, the Secretary of State must first be formally notified of LaPlante's resignation, which could take a few days. Then the Board of Aldermen must decide if a special election should be held to fill the vacancy. If that is deemed appropriate and a resolution is passed by city officials, a request will be made to the governor and council seeking authorization for a special election.

Bergeron said the earliest meeting the governor and council could address the issue is probably March 20. At that point, there are between 110 and 124 days before the actual election could be held, said Bergeron, explaining the primary could occur about May 20 at the earliest.

The general election could then be scheduled for July; however, Bergeron noted that the current legislative session ends June 30 and does not resume again until January 2014.

khoughton@newstote.com


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