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G & C sets special election for Cos District 2 seat

December 23, 2009
CONCORD — The Governor and Council met at 2:30 on Friday afternoon in the State House to set a date for the special election to fill the House seat in Cos District 2 vacated on Dec. 14 by Rep. Scott Merrick of Lancaster.

The primary will be held on Groundhog Day — Tuesday, Feb. 2 — with the election on Town Meeting Day — Tuesday, March 9, explained Gov. John Lynch's press secretary Colin Manning.

"If there is no primary, the election will be Feb. 2," he explained in an e-mail exchange.

Despite earlier speculation that the combination of the holidays and the timing required by statute made a special election unlikely, the Dalton selectmen kick-started the process by voting unanimously at their Monday evening "work session" to petition Gov. Lynch to set the date for a special election. This is the process that is provided for in the state's statutes governing elections.

A special election will allow the Cos delegation to field a full-strength delegation of 11 state representatives. Cos District 2 went down from its authorized four seats to three when Rep. Merrick resigned.

Asked for his take on this news, Rep. Herb Richardson of Lancaster replied, "I would just like to say good luck to Scott in his future endeavors. I am sorry to see him go. He had earned a lot of respect in Concord, and I hope that whoever may be elected will do as good a job for the North Country as Scott did."

Executive Councilor Ray Burton said, "Of the 400-member House of Representatives, Cos County has 11 members. It is very important that ALL 11 are filled." Gov. Lynch and four of the five members of the Executive Council voted to authorize the special election for Cos District 2.

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