November 14, 2012COOS COUNTY — Democrats now make up more than half the Coös County delegation of state representatives. Unless the recount sought by incumbent Rep. Evalyn Merrick of Lancaster results in a change, the delegation will now be made up of seven Democrats and three Republicans, whose names all begin with "R" — Rappaport, Richardson, and Rideout.
In a very close race in the new 10-town floterial District 7, Lancaster selectman Leon Rideout, a Republican, edged out Merrick, a Democrat of Lancaster, 3,265 to 3,253. Merrick explained in an e-mail exchange that she asked for a recount. "A 12-vote margin is just too close, and I have been encouraged move forward on a recount request," she wrote. "I believe we owe it to the voters to provide accurate results of who will be representing them."
Secretary of State Bill Gardner has scheduled the recount at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Nov. 15) in Room 301 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
Previously, Rideout had topped his fellow Republican Rep. Bill Remick, also of Lancaster, in a three-way state primary contest: Rideout, 798 votes; Remick, 437; and 136 for newcomer Jeffery Young of Jefferson.
Rep. Larry Rappaport, Republican of Colebrook, was re-elected in Coös District 1 with 1,540 votes, and challenger Larry Enman, a Democrat of Errol, won a first term with 1,158 votes, edging out Rep. Duffy Daugherty, a Republican of Colebrook who served a single term, by 20 votes.
Daugherty said in a Wednesday evening phone call that he will not ask for a recount.
Wayne Moynihan, a Democrat of Dummer who maintains a law practice in Berlin, beat one-term selectman Jim Tierney Jr., a Republican of Northumberland, 1,259 to 839, in Coös District 2. With 477 votes from his home base, Tierney came within four votes of carrying Northumberland; Moynihan received only 481 votes in the new District 2's most populous town.
The three incumbents from Berlin, all Democrats running for re-election in Coös District 3 won handily: firefighter Rep. Gary Coulombe, 2940; Rep. Robert Theberge, 2651; and Rep. Yvonne Thomas, 2,426. Republican Eric Catman, who moved to Berlin from Stark over the summer, tallied 1,029 votes.
In Coös District 4, Rep. Herb Richardson (see related article), a Republican of Lancaster, beat out second-time Democratic challenger Troy Merner, also of Lancaster, 1,167 to 821.
In her first bid for public office, Democratic challenger Marcia Hammon of Whitefield upset incumbent Republican Rep. John Tholl, also of Whitefield, 1,235 to 1,154, to win the new Coös District 5 seat.
In Coös District 6, incumbent Rep. Bill Hatch, a Democrat of Gorham who was unopposed in both the state primary and general election, tallied 1,242 votes.
The current makeup of the 11-member Coös delegation is six Republicans — Reps. Daugherty, Rappaport, Tholl, Richardson, Remick, and Tremblay (who did not run for re-election) and five Democrats — Reps. Merrick, Hatch, Coulombe, Theberge, and Thomas.
The number of Coös reps fell by one as a result of the 2000 U. S. Census.
State reps will be sworn into office on Wednesday, Dec. 5 — the first Wednesday of December in an election year — in Representatives Hall in the State House in Concord.