David Nixon: 'willing to roll up his sleeves'
When politicians get in trouble - such as former state Sen. Junie Blaisdell and former Banking Commissioner Peter Hildreth - they turn to Nixon. Nixon has even sued the New Hampshire Sunday News.
Raised in the Leominster, Mass., area, Nixon moved to New Hampshire in the late 1950s to work at the McLane firm. He followed some early advice and stayed focused on the law for 10 years - even when his former law partner, John W. King, was governor.He ran for the New Hampshire House in 1968 and served a two-year term in the House, then went to the state Senate. After two years, he was elected Senate president.In 1974, Nixon challenged a sitting governor, Meldrim Thomson, in the Republican primary. Throughout the campaign, Nixon said, he had to explain he was not related to Richard Nixon, who had resigned the presidency that year over Watergate.
"Should I have run again (after 1974)? I really had no motivation to spend my life in politics," Nixon said. "You'd have to have more money and more desire to attend events and make speeches than I did."
In the late 1970s, he changed parties to Democrat, and he went underground in the political sense. He raised money and support for mostly Democratic candidates. But he remained close to moderate Republicans such as Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and recently deceased Executive Councilor Ray Burton.
In politics, Nixon has been the kind of guy that any New Hampshire governor will take a call from, Middleton said. In law, he's the kind of lawyer that commanded respect from judges, Middleton said.
Nixon is also happy to roll up his sleeves and help community causes. In the 2000s, he spearheaded efforts to raise $500,000 so the city could build the William B. Cashin Senior Center. A golf tournament for the center continues to draw his attention.
"The next thing I know, I read in the paper I'm chairman," Nixon said.He was one of the founders of the Joe Yukica-New Hampshire chapter of the National Football Foundation, which promotes amateur football through recognition ceremonies and scholarship. Nixon is secretary on the board of the nonprofit.But he is always willing to make a call, make a donation, or write a letter on behalf of the group, said George Larkin, who is also on the board.