KEENE — With Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., out campaigning for Mitch Greenwald’s mayoral candidacy, his competitor, George Hansel, scored an endorsement closer to home from current Mayor Kendall Lane.
Nobody, formerly Rich Paul, told radio personality Mike Hsu that he intends to run against Gov. Chris Sununu in the New Hampshire gubernatorial primary.
“George has run a positive, community-driven campaign that highlights our strengths,” Lane said in a statement released Monday.
Lane is stepping down from the mayor’s perch after serving five terms, setting off the competitive race between Hansel and Greenwald.
Though the race is nonpartisan, as neither candidate declares a political party for Keene’s mayoral election, Greenwald, a Democrat, has won the backing of Shaheen.
Hansel, a Republican, serves on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s Millennial Advisory Council.
Lane said the next mayor will need to attract new business opportunities to Keene, and he said Hansel is the right candidate for that mission, based on his city council experience and various committee assignments.
“Throughout these assignments, George has not only met my expectations but consistently exceeded them,” Lane said.
“He has been a key player in moving forward many economic development initiatives, including the 79-E program. This program provides tax incentives to local businesses to rehab properties in the downtown area.”
Hansel has also won the backing of former Keene Mayor Dale Pregent.
If the city’s primary election held earlier this month is any indication, next week’s general election could be tight.
Greenwald won 1,113 votes to Hansel’s 1,111.
The Libertarian candidate, Nobody, won 47 votes.