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Dems fight over campaign cash in Executive Council District 4 forum

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 09. 2018 11:10PM




MANCHESTER — The two Democratic candidates for the open District 4 seat on the Executive Council sparred over their campaign finances during a forum Thursday night.

Former Manchester alderman Garth Corriveau said he’s the only candidate to refuse corporate money; at one point he slammed primary rival Gray Chynoweth of Manchester for soliciting “$7,000 from big businessmen in the Millyard.”

“If it is just about the money, vote for Gray. If it is about who do you stand with, I ask for your vote,” Corriveau said.

Chynoweth said he disclosed where he has raised $130,000 for the race and Corriveau could voluntarily disclose his donors before he has to report to Secretary of State Bill Gardner on Aug. 22.

“I don’t think this race is about money. I think you need money to run this race,” Chynoweth said, then thanked two of those Millyard businessmen in the Manchester Public Library audience who were there to support him.

“I honestly find it insulting that you think that because they have resources and support my campaign that means I can’t represent middle-class voters,” Chynoweth said.

Chynoweth filed his campaign expenses in June because he formed a political action committee. Corriveau has a campaign committee with later reporting requirements.

Chynoweth said it will take a well-financed campaign to beat former Manchester mayor Ted Gatsas, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the seat against former state lawmaker Jane Cormier of Hooksett.

“The stakes are high in this election. Ted Gatsas is going to raise a lot of money in this race,” Chynoweth said.

As of late June, Gatsas had raised $72,000.

Corriveau said he doesn’t need a lecture from anyone on what it takes to beat Gatsas after he has served three terms at City Hall.

“You want to beat Ted Gatsas; I went to war against Ted Gatsas for six years,” Corriveau said.

After this tense exchange, both candidates tried to cool down the rhetoric.

“Let me say something clearly, I don’t want anybody to think we don’t like each other,” Corriveau said, adding the two have known each other for nearly 15 years. “I will absolutely support Gray if he wins the primary.” Chynoweth answered, “I will absolutely support Garth.”

The pair launched an attack against Gatsas on issues ranging from abortion rights and commuter rail to support for public education.

They both endorsed an increase in turnpike tolls to speed up the redesign of Exit 6 on Interstate 293 in the city.

The liberal Rights and Democracy New Hampshire sponsored the 90-minute forum, which was moderated by Manchester Ink Link’s Carol Robidoux.

The winners of the Sept. 11 primary will face off in November to replace Manchester Democrat Chris Pappas, who is seeking his party’s nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

klandrigan@unionleader.com


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