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Harold Parker to resign as state rep


Selectmen decide not to hold special election to replace him


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News

AWolfeboroRepHaroldPark
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HAROLD PARKER will join the staff of incoming Gov. Chris Sununu on Jan. 6. As a result he will be resigning his position as state representative for Wolfeboro. (Courtesy photo)

AWolfeboroRepHaroldPark
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HAROLD PARKER will join the staff of incoming Gov. Chris Sununu on Jan. 6. As a result he will be resigning his position as state representative for Wolfeboro. (Courtesy photo)
December 26, 2016
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro resident Harold B. Parker has announced his intention to resign from his position as state representative for Carroll County District 6 on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Parker has been appointed as policy advisor to incoming Gov. Chris Sununu and will assume his new responsibilities on Friday, Jan. 6. His appointment is based in part on his years of 12 service advising U.S. Sen. John Sununu and two years assisting U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, as well as his involvement in the Sununu campaign. He made his official announcement at the Dec. 21 Wolfeboro selectmen's meeting, thanking voters for allowing him to serve them. He will also be resigning from the town Heritage Commission.

Under the provisions of RSA 655:81 the vacant seat of a state representative must be filled through a special election. "The special election shall be held on a Tuesday not less than 110 nor more than 124 days following the day that the governor and council declare that there shall be a special election." The law allows special elections to coincide with regular town elections provided they are held between 80 and 180 days after the special election is declared. Even assuming that the governor and executive council make their declaration on Jan. 9, the Monday following Parker's resignation, there are only 64 days to town elections on March 14.

Town Clerk Pat Waterman verified the time frame with Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan and notified Town Manager Dave Owen, who presented the matter to selectmen.

Holding a separate special election would be expensive, requiring the same notice and arrangements, ballot clerks and other personnel as a regular election. Because of those costs Selectman Dave Bowers recommended waiting until the next regular election to fill the position.

Since 2017 is an off-year for state elections, the next regular town election would be on March 13, 2018.

Selectman Linda Murray said she felt voters should be represented, but recognized the high cost of holding a special election. "I have mixed feelings about this," she said.

Selectmen Chair Brad Harriman said he agreed with Bowers, who made a motion to fill the position at the next regular election. The vote was 4-0 in favor (Selectman Luke Freudenberg was not present at this meeting).

The vote means that for more than 14 months Wolfeboro will only be represented in the House by Steve Schmidt while continuing to be represented in the Senate by Wolfeboro resident Jeb Bradley.

Parker stated after the vote that he will always be glad to come in and talk with board.

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