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Local voters make a Republican statement

Locals help send GOP to big victories across the state, Gov. Lynch sole winning Democrat

VOLUNTEERS, who came prepared for a cold day at the polls, stand in front of the New Durham School with signs in hand Tuesday. Tim Croes. (click for larger version)
November 03, 2010
REGION — Tuesday was a good night to be a Republican.

In what was widely considered to be a referendum on President Barack Obama's policies, voters across the country sent many incumbent Democrats packing in favor of Republican candidates.

New Hampshire went with that trend in most races and the towns in The Baysider's coverage area went completely with that trend in all but one race in one town.

Voter turnout was high and voters in Alton, Barnstead and New Durham gave victories to many of the same candidates who claimed victory statewide.

The closest statewide race in the local towns was the race for governor. While incumbent John Lynch was returned to Concord for a record fourth consecutive term, voters in New Durham and Alton gave the majority of their support to Republican challenger John Stephen.

Stephen won Alton by a 1,296 to 974 margin and won New Durham by a 547 to 468 margin. Barnstead voters were split right down the middle in their choice for governor, as both candidates received 762 votes.

The other high profile race on the docket at the state level was for a six-year term in the U.S. Senate, replacing longtime Senator Judd Gregg.

Many news outlets called the race for former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte before 9 p.m. The Republican easily bested Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes to win the seat. Hodes gave up his Second District Congressional seat to run for the Senate.

Local voters gave Ayotte huge wins. In Alton she picked up 1,716 votes, while Hodes garnered only 545. In New Durham, Ayotte received 705 votes and Hodes picked up 302. Barnstead voters went with Ayotte by a margin of 1,066 to 465.

Former Republican Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta won the First District Congressional seat over incumbent Democrat Carol Shea-Porter. Voters in the local towns also gave Guinta the nod. In Alton, Guinta received 1,486 votes, with 701 going to Shea-Porter. In New Durham, Guinta was selected on 616 ballots, while Shea-Porter picked up 370 votes. In Barnstead, Guinta won by an 892 to 593 margin.

The only other race common to all three towns was for State Senator for District Four, which pitted Republican Jim Forsythe against Democrat Andrew Hosmer. Forsythe appeared to have a commanding lead according to most news outlets and local voters handed him a large number of votes.

Forsythe won Alton 1,563 to 644 and carried New Durham 681 to 312. Barnstead voters also went with Forysthe by a 993 to 509 margin.

Barnstead and New Durham share an Executive Councilor and incumbent Democrat John Shea appeared on his way to defeat at 11 p.m., with 34 percent of the precincts in and Republican challenger Dan St. Hilaire in an early lead. St. Hilaire won New Durham 644 to 336 and won Barnstead 959 to 506. Alton voters backed longtime Republican Executive Councilor Ray Burton by a margin of 1,628 to 528 for challenger Beth Funicella.

Alton and Barnstead also voted on a race for Belknap County Treasurer, with Republican Michael Muzzey beating Democrat Kerstin Ahlgren 875 to 526 in Barnstead and 1,471 to 591 in Alton. In the race for Register of Deeds, Republican Barbara Luther won Barnstead 950 to 461 over Democrat Lynn Chong. Luther won Alton 1,557 to 520. For Register of Probate, Republican Karen Brickner won Alton 1,498 to 560 over Democrat Judy Stewart and won Barnstead 965 to 464.

Alton voters gave 1,579 votes to Republican County Commissioner candidate Stephen Nedeau, while Democrat Stephen Larimer Copithorne garnered 513 votes. Barnstead voters went with Republican John Thomas (932) over Democrat Andrew Livernois (471) for their county commissioner.

In New Durham, four candidates were running for three seats as Strafford County Commissioner. George Maglaras, Robert Watson and Catherine Cheney were the top vote getters in New Durham. Maglaras and Watson were on both the Democratic and Republican ticket, while Cheney was only on the Republican ticket. Democrat Paul Dumont was fourth.

State Rep races

The race for State Representative for Belknap County District Five, which serves Alton, Barnstead, Gilford and Belmont featured seven Republicans and seven Democrats vying for seven seats.

As they did in most other races, Republicans ruled the day, knocking one incumbent Democrat out of office.

Incumbent Republican Jeff St. Cyr was the top vote-getter across the district, garnering 5,257 votes. He received the most votes in Alton (1,571).

Alida Millham, a Republican incumbent who was planning on retiring but jumped back in the race when Laurie Boyce moved out of the district, received the second-most votes with 4,986. Fellow incumbent Republican Elaine Swinford finished third overall with 4,901 votes and captured the most votes in her hometown of Barnstead with 939.

Newcomer Robert Malone finished fourth with 4,798 votes, while incumbent Peter Bolster finished fifth with 4,732 votes. Newcomer Guy Comtois finished sixth with 4,709 votes and incumbent James "Doc" Pilliod grabbed the seventh spot with 4,553 votes. He got the most votes in Gilford (1,958) and his hometown of Belmont (1,269).

Alton voters went with St. Cyr (1,571), Malone (1,331), Comtois (1,294), Bolster (1,281), Swinford (1,274), Pilliod (1,254) and Millham (1,193). Barnstead voters went with Swinford (939), St. Cyr (874), Comtois (840), Malone (779), Bolster 776), Pilliod (742) and Millham (732).

The seven Democrats were led by incumbent Bill Johnson, who picked up 3,067 votes and finished eighth overall. Johnson was the only Democrat to pick up more than 1,000 votes in any of the four towns. He earned 1,207 votes in his hometown of Gilford. Don Morin Jr. was ninth with 2,523 votes, with Ellen McClung finishing 10th with 2,267 votes. George Condodemetraky was 11th with 2,144 votes, followed by Johan Andersen with 2,049. Owen Carey-Hatch received 2,037 votes and Kenny Bourbeau was named on 1,966 ballots.

Alton went with Johnson (645), McClung (507), Morin (476), Andersen (458), Bourbeau (437), Condodemetraky (434) and Carey-Hatch (422). Barnstead went with Johnson (514), McClung (457), Morin (414), Bourbeau (414), Andersen (409), Carey-Hatch (398) and Condodemetraky (375).

In Strafford County District Three, which includes New Durham, one Republican incumbent and seven newcomers swept to victory in the eight seats available.

Republican incumbent Carol Vita received 4,949 votes across the district to lead the pack. Sam Cataldo was second with 4,863, followed by Bill O'Connor with 4,670 votes. Lou Vita was fourth with 4,641 votes, with Joseph Pitre finishing fifth with 4,469 votes. Sixth went to Robbie Parsons with 4,326 votes and seventh went to Martin Harty with 4,200 votes. The eighth and final seat went to William Panek with 4,118 votes.

New Durham went for Cataldo (595), Carol Vita (591), O'Connor (569), Lou Vita (561), Parsons (526), Harty (499) and Panek (483).

Incumbent Democrat Dennis Vachon led his party with 3,556 votes, with fellow incumbent Larry Brown next with 3,423 votes. Incumbent Susan Price followed with 3,384 votes and incumbent Rachel Burke was next with 3,337 votes. Incumbent Bob Perry netted 3,198 votes and Janet Kalar picked up 3,138. Richard Stanley was named on 2,990 ballots and Cory Mattocks received 2,878 votes.

New Durham Democrats selected Vachon (343), Burke (328), Price (320), Brown (315), Perry (299), Kalar (290), Stanley (289) and Mattocks (269).

Teachers' contracts

Voters in Alton also had the chance to vote on new teachers' contracts for Alton Central School and Prospect Mountain High School. The Prospect Mountain contract had previously been defeated by Barnstead voters, meaning even if it passed in Alton it would not be put in place.

While official numbers were not made available as of midnight Wednesday morning, The Baysider was informed that both contracts were not passed.


New Durham voting officials reported 35 new voters and a total of 1,055 people casting ballots, which is more than 52 percent of the 2,006 registered voters.

In Alton, 95 voters registered at the polls and 2,359 people cast votes, putting Alton's turnout at 56 percent of the 4,202 registered voters.

Varney Smith
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