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State senate races heating up as filing deadline approaches

New Hampshire Union Lader

June 15. 2018 12:22AM
All 27 Democratic candidates for state Senate filed into the Secretary of State's office together on Thursday, led by Sen. Jeff Woodburn, left, and Martha Fuller Clark. (Dave Solomon / Union Leader)

CONCORD — With the deadline for candidate filings approaching, Democrats are still looking for someone to challenge Republican state Sen. Regina Birdsell in District 19, the Windham, Derry, Hampstead area, while Republicans have four Senate districts without a contender.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. today to file their paperwork to appear on the ballot.

All the Democrats running for Senate seats, either as incumbents or challengers, arrived at the Secretary of State’s office as a group on Thursday, led by Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, who predicted that the party would find a contender for District 19 and compete in all 24 districts.

“We’re working right to the end. We just filled one seat, which was a tough one,” he said, alluding to District 3, where Chris Meier, a North Conway attorney, filed to run against Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley in the Carroll County district. Bradley also faces a primary challenge from Steven Steiner of Conway .

Democrats have a primary contest in three senate districts.

In District 9, which runs from Bedford to the Monadnock area, Jeanne Dietsch, Mark Fernald, and Bruce Fox will seek the Democratic nomination. The seat is currently held by Republican Andy Sanborn, who is running for Congress in the First District.

Bedford state Rep. Dan Hynes is giving up his House seat to run as the Republican in District 9.

In District 11, Democrats Rep. Shannon Chandley and former candidate Roger Tilton seek the nomination of their party to run against incumbent Republican Gary Daniels in the Milford-Amherst-Merrimack area.

In District 12, both parties have primary contests. On the Democratic side, Tom Falter and Melanie Levesque are contending for the right to represent the district that runs from Rindge to Hollis and encompasses three Nashua wards, while Nashua Alderman Richard Dowd is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Kevin Avard.

Here’s how the other Senate races are shaping up, based on information from the Secretary of State as of Thursday, with another 24 hours left to file.

In District 1, Woodburn is seeking his fourth term representing Coos and much of Grafton counties, with no Republican challenger as of Thursday.

In District 2, incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Giuda of Warren will match up against Democrat Bill Bolton of Plymouth in this Plymouth-area district. Bolton is a retired state employee and current Chair of the Plymouth Select Board.

In District 4, the Dover area, Sen. David Watters of Dover is the only declared candidate so far. Same with District 5, the Upper Valley, where retired child psychologist Sen. Martha Hennessey of Hanover is seeking her second term in the Senate.

Incumbent Republican James Gray of Rochester will face Democrat Anne Grassie of Rochester in District 6, while incumbent Republican Harold French of Franklin will face Mason Donovan of Boscawen in District 7.

In District 8, incumbent Republican Ruth Ward will face a challenge from Democrat Jenn Alford-Teaster

In District 10, the Keene area, incumbent Democrat Jay Kahn will compete with Republican Dan LeClair of Swanzey.

Incumbent Democrat Bette Lasky decided not to run in District 13, comprised of six Nashua wards, leaving the field wide open. Democratic Rep. Cindy Rosenwald has filed for that seat, as has Republican David Schoneman.

In District 14, incumbent Republican Sharon Carson of Londonderry faces a challenge from Democrat Tammy Siekmann, also of Londonderry.

Concord state Sen. Dan Feltes is so far unchallenged in his bid for a third term in District 15, representing the Concord area.

District 16 features a rematch between former Republican Sen. David Boutin of Hooksett and incumbent Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh of Manchester.

Incumbent Republican Sen. John Reagan of Deerfield faces a challenge from Chris Roundy of Nottingham in District 17, while incumbent Democrat Donna Soucy of Manchester will be challenged by George Lambert Jr. of Litchfield in District. 18.

Manchester Democratic Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, who has represented District 20 in the Senate since 1998, will once again square off against Republican challenger Carla Gericke who challenged D’Allesandro in 2016.

Democrat Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth will face a challenge from Peter Macdonald of Lee in District 21, while Democrat Richard O’Shaughnessey of Salem will challenge Republican Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem in District 22.

In District 23 Democrat Jon Morgan of Brentwood has filed to run against incumbent Bill Gannon of Sandown, while in District 24, Democrat Tom Sherman, a gastroenterologist from Rye, will challenge incumbent Republican Dan Innis.

This list will be updated after the deadline for candidates closes this evening.

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