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Garry Rayno's State House Dome: Democrats and Republicans parties round out their next tickets in NH
Democrats used the provision to file 34 candidates for House seats, though two were disallowed by Secretary of State Bill Gardner. Republicans filed only one candidate for the House.
Not having the minority party file a candidate to challenge the sitting Senate president is somewhat of a tradition. This time, Democrats did not file anyone to run against Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, in District 22. Democrats may not be that unhappy with Morse, who helped them achieve perhaps their No. 1 priority this session, Medicaid expansion.
However, District 16, which includes the three northern wards in Manchester as well as Candia, Hooksett, Bow and Dunbarton, is a different story.
Democrats were hoping Patrick Arnold- who lost a close race to former District 16 Sen. and current Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas - would run, but he took himself out of the competition, and no one else stepped forward.
Both seats are solidly Democratic, but Sen. David Pierce, D-Hanover, is a first-term senator, though he represented Hanover in the House for several terms.
The same is true in District 10, where Sen. Molly Kelly, D-Keene, is serving her fourth term. And much like in District 5, no strong Republican candidate is readily apparent, so the two senators are likely to have a free ride come November.
Primaries: The Democrats have few primaries for the top of the ticket, offices including governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. representative, Executive Council and state Senate.
Gov. Maggie Hassan has two challengers, one a Free Stater with his own radio show in Keene, but U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, 1st District U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and 2nd District U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster are running unopposed, as you might expect for incumbents.
The Republican side is a different story, with four candidates for governor, two with a shot at winning the primary, and 10 running for U.S. Senate, three of them major candidates.
In the 2nd Congressional District, there are also four candidates, two of which are well-funded and therefore have a shot at winning the primary: former state Sen. Gary Lambert of Nashua and current state Rep. Marilinda Garcia of Salem.
The District 5 race pits former Executive Councilor David Wheeler of Milford and Steve Hattamer of Hollis.
While primaries can be bitter and costly, they do drive up interest and turn out the party base.
Ballot Law Commission: The Ballot Law Commission meets June 30 at 9:30 a.m. in Rooms 301-303 of the Legislative Office Building to decide questions related to three people.On the day he filed to run, Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein asked the BLC to settle before the primary election the question of his eligibility to become governor.
Havenstein said he wants to end any uncertainty or confusion over his official domicile and eligibility.
Nashua's Stacie Laughton wants to run for the House, but Gardner ruled she cannot.
Laughton was the state's first openly transgender legislator when she was elected to the House in 2012. She withdrew from the office before being sworn in after revelations that she still had unpaid restitution following a 2008 conviction for fraudulent credit card use.
The third case involves an out-of-state resident who wants to run for the 1st Congressional District seat. Allan Levene of Georgia said he would be a resident of the state by the time he was sworn in, but Gardner said that is not permissible under the state constitution.Gardner made a similar ruling against Democrat William Bryk of Brooklyn, N.,Y., who wanted to run in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
READER COMMENTS: 3
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