NASHUA — There will be a contested race for Nashua’s Ward 3 alderman seat this fall, as two political newcomers have already announced their candidacy for the position.
With the current Ward 3 alderman Diane Sheehan running for an at-large alderman position, at least two local residents say they will seek Sheehan’s Ward 3 spot on the Board of Aldermen.
David Schoneman, who has lived in Nashua since 2010, previously told the Union Leader his intention of campaigning for the seat. This week, Paul Shea announced his intent to run for the same role.
Shea, 29, would be the youngest board member if elected.
“I think I could certainly bring a different perspective from my generation, but most importantly, I hope to learn from those folks who have served on the board for such a long time,” Shea said on Tuesday. “I hope they would be opened minded and interested in taking me under their wings.”
Shea is a familiar face in town, as he is active with the Gate City Community Garden project and the Fancy Fridays fundraising events throughout Nashua. He also established Nashua’s newest online Civic Sounding Board, a place for citizens to openly discuss various city issues, projects and local politics.
After learning of Sheehan’s plan to seek an at-large position, Shea said it was an ideal opportunity to campaign for the Ward 3 alderman seat.
“There are a lot of issues at hand right now. I am interested in making sure I represent the best interests of the people in the French Hill neighborhood and all the way up in Ward 3,” he said. “I am a humanist. This is not about being right, and it is not about coming into it with any particular agenda, but rather figuring out what works best.”
Shea, a registered nurse, says it is important to balance the needs of the community while keeping spending on pace with inflation.
Schoneman, a part-time flight instructor and pilot, ran unsuccessfully for a state representative position last year, but says he is optimistic about his campaign for alderman.
“I am a fiscal conservative, and I believe the amount of government spending is alarming, and will eventually harm the economy if it continues,” Schoneman said earlier.
Schoneman said he hopes to have a voice in local politics that can represent the people of Nashua and their interests, specifically in Ward 3.
Schoneman questions what additional services are being offered in light of the higher taxes and increased budget in the Gate City.“I believe in responsible government and wise spending, and my allegiance is to the voters, not to the mayor or the chairman of the Board of Aldermen,” he added.
Three of six aldermen-at-large positions are up for re-election, along with all of the nine ward aldermen slots. At-large candidates must obtain 50 nominating petition signatures while ward candidates must collect 15 petitions from registered voters within their designated wards in order to file for office.
Anyone interested in running for the aldermen seats, or the four Board of Education positions, two fire commissioner slots, two Board of Public Works seats or various moderator, clerk and selectmen roles for each ward may pick up their nominating petitions at the city clerk’s office at Nashua City Hall. They are also available on the city’s website.
The first day of filing is Aug. 27, with the filing period closing on Sept. 6. Nashua’s municipal general election is slated for Nov. 5.