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Few contests but some surprises in filings for September primaries

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
June 19, 2014
REGION — By the end of the filing period for the Sept. 9 political party primaries last Friday, June 13, some notable candidates did not file for re-election and new faces entered the local races.

Sadly there are very few real contests in either the Republican or Democratic primaries. The Democratic Party was unable to find candidates for a number of state representative seats in Carroll County. Voter choices will be few and far between.

In Carroll County District 6 (Wolfeboro), Republican Rep. Chris Ahlgren did not file for re-election after years of representing Wolfeboro. His fellow Republican Steve Schmidt did file and was joined by newcomer Harold B. Parker. In the Democratic primary Louise Graham is the only candidate for the two open seats.

In District 5 (Ossipee, Wakefield, Effingham and Brookfield), longtime Rep. Harry Merrow did not file for re-election in the Republican primary. In his place Ed Comeau of Brookfield, whose website www.governmentoversite.com covers meetings in most of the territory, has filed, along with Lino Avellani of Wakefield and Carolyn Carruth of Ossipee. The other two reps in District 5, Republican Bill Nelson and Democrat Tom Lavender, both from Brookfield, did file for re-election. Joining Lavender in the Democratic primary will be Paul W. Turner of Wakefield. Craig Bona of Effingham has filed as an Independent. There are three open seats in District 5.

Carroll County Commissioner and Wakefield resident Asha Kenney did not file for re-election in the Republican primary to the County Commission District 3 seat. However, she did file for Carroll County Register of Deeds and will be running against Lisa Scott of Sandwich on Sept. 6. Democrats did not field a candidate for Register of Deeds, so unless the party was able to find someone to run by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, whoever wins the Republican primary will win the general election.

As for County Commission District 3, three candidates are running for Kenney's former seat: Amanda Tuttle Bevard of Wolfeboro, Denny Miller of Wakefield and Mellisa Seamans of Effingham. Tuftonboro's Chip Albee is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination for the County Commission District 3 seat. Albee lost to Kenney in 2010 in a surprise upset. In November he will face one of the three contenders in the Republican primary.

In Carroll County District 4 (Moultonborough, Sandwich and Tuftonboro), incumbents Glenn Cordelli of Tuftonboro and Karel A. Crawford of Moultonborough are running unopposed in the Republican primary. In the District 4 Democratic primary Christopher Burbank of Moultonborough and Nick Vazzana of Sandwich are running for the two seats.

In Carroll County District 8 (a "floterial" district covering Sandwich, Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, Ossipee, Effingham, Wakefield and Brookfield), Rep. Ted Wright is running unopposed for re-election in the Republican primary and general election, since the Democrats did not field a candidate for District 8.

Sheriff Domenic Richardi of Conway is being challenged in the Republican primary by Shawn Coope of Wolfeboro. County Attorney Robin Gordon is running unopposed in the Democratic primary but her perennial challenger Tom Dewhurst of Wolfeboro is running unopposed in the Republican primary, so there will be another face off in November for County Attorney.

County Treasurer Jack Widmer of Tuftonboro and Register of Probate Henry Mock are running unopposed in the Republican primary with no Democratic challengers.

In Senate District 3, Sen. Jeb Bradley is running unopposed in the Republican primary. Wolfeboro resident John R. White is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, so the two Wolfeboro residents will face off in the November general election.

There will be a rematch in November of the contest held earlier this year for the District 1 Executive Council seat between Republican Joe Kenney of Wakefield, who won the special election in January, and Democrat Mike Cryans of Hanover. Each has no primary challengers.

There were no surprises in the filings for state and national offices. Incumbent Democrats Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in our First District all filed for re-election. Hassan will face off against two little-known challengers in the Democratic primary Ian Freeman of Keene and Clecia Terrio of Manchester. Shaheen and Shea-Porter have no primary competition.

All three will face the winners in a very busy Republican primary.

Contending for the Republican nomination for governor are four candidates: Walt Havenstein and Jonathan Smolin of Alton, Daniel Greene of Pittsfield and Andrew Hemingway of Bristol.

Contending for the nomination for U.S. senator are 10 candidates: Bob Hehmann of Wolfeboro, Bob Smith of Tuftonboro, Gerard Beloin of Colebrook, Scott Brown of Rye, Robert D'Arcy of Keene, Miro Dziedzic of Windham, Mark Farnham of Lebanon, Walter Kelly of Lancaster, Andy Martin of Manchester and Jim Rubens of Hanover.

Contending for the nomination for U.S. representative in the First District are four candidates: Frank Guinta of Manchester, Dan Innis of Portsmouth, Everett Jabour of Barrington, and Brendan Kelly of Seabrook.

The Granite State News will provide details of primary polling times and places later in August.

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