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Filing period for special election for Claremont House seat opens today

CLAREMONT - The filing period for a special election to replace state Rep. Thomas Donovan starts today.

Elected to Sullivan County's District Four House seat last fall, Donovan announced his resignation in February, citing personal reasons.

Donovan was a Democratic state representative from 1992 to 2000 and 2002 to 2010.

Former representatives Republican Joe Osgood and Democrat Larry Converse have already stepped forward, saying they plan to file and run for the office.

The primary is planned for June 4, with a July 23 election.

According to Claremont city officials, potential candidates can file at the city clerk's office today and Tuesday, but from Wednesday through Friday must file at the Secretary of State's office in Concord. The filing period closes Friday.

"I haven't signed up yet, but I'm hoping to do it on Monday," said Converse, 70, of Claremont on Friday.

Converse has served three terms as a representative in the Labor Committee during his first term in the 1980s and subsequent terms from 2006 to 2010.

"I've always served on the labor committee and I'm one of the people who pushed in the state minimum wage," Converse said.

Converse said he would like to see the state return to setting its own minimum wage rate, instead of following the federal minimum wage.

On a county level his greatest concern is adequately funding public transportation, since so many in Claremont benefit from the bus service, he said. "Claremont has a lot more people to take advantage of that."

Osgood, 59, ran and lost his bid for a state Senate seat last fall.

Osgood describes himself as a "strong conservative," and first joined the House in 2005 after winning another special election He returned to the state house again from 2006 to 2010, serving on the House Ways and Means Committee.

"I believe in government, but I don't believe in too much government. I think government has kind of out grown itself and we need to do something about it," Osgood said Friday.

Osgood is a lifelong city resident and owns and runs Joe's Family Car Care.

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