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May 28. 2014 9:49PM

Nashua alderman-at-large to seek District 5 seat


Nashua Alderman-at-Large Diane Sheehan says she will run for the Executive Council District 5 seat. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)

NASHUA — Democrat Diane Sheehan, a city alderman, said Wednesday she intends to seek the Executive Council District 5 seat in the upcoming election.

When Executive Councilor Deb Pignatelli announced she would not run for reelection, Sheehan said she was saddened by the news, noting Pignatelli has been a strong advocate for the people of southern New Hampshire and beyond.

Sheehan, who is now serving her third term on the Nashua Board of Aldermen, says she hopes to become a voice for the people in District 5, while also continuing Pignatelli’s mission to help bring commuter trains to New Hampshire.

Also expected to seek the vacant executive councilor seat are David Wheeler, Jennifer Daler, Steve Hattmer and Steve Stepanek.

Sheehan, a Nashua resident off-and-on since 1973, is currently a stay-at-home mother with her two sons.

“I have time to serve constituents, which is what Deb did really well. I hope to continue those standards,” said Sheehan, who has a degree in liberal arts and has completed communication courses from the University of New Hampshire.

Sheehan has a business background in telecommunications, previously serving as indirect distribution manager for U.S. Cellular where she handled contracts, public relations and hiring. “Our economy is starting to rebound. This is a critical time to have a thoughtful, responsive executive councilor representing District 5,” said Sheehan. “I have a proven track record of coming prepared, engaging constituents and being responsive to people, non-profits and businesses.”

Train service is one of the driving factors behind Sheehan’s campaign, she said, explaining a rail connection from Boston to the Manchester airport is critical for the growth of the state and its economy.

“Rail is an opportunity, and looking to find a way to make it viable is incredibly important,” she said Wednesday. If elected, Sheehan believes her role as an at-large city aldermen will not impact her position on the Executive Council.

“This will be a strength, in my opinion, because I will better understand the impacts on various communities, and I will be able to promote better communication between the state and local levels,” she said. “I think that having more information is always better, and this will allow for a better opportunity to meet people and share information.”

Sheehan said she intends to be readily available for her constituents, and will work hard to address their concerns, answer questions and return phone calls.

“I have the business and political experience, skills and enthusiasm to do the job,” she added.

khoughton@newstote.com


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