Democrats Calling For Reform Win Two County Attorney Seats

Nov 8, 2018

County attorneys oversee law enforcement and set criminal justice priorities in each county.
Credit FILE

Democrats flipped the New Hampshire Legislature and Executive Council in this week's elections. But they also took control of two lower-profile offices for County Attorney.

County attorneys oversee law enforcement and set criminal justice priorities in each county.

Only two county attorney races were close - and in both, Democrats beat out Republican incumbents with a promise of criminal justice reform.

In Merrimack County, public defender Robin Davis won after she was nominated as a write-in Democratic candidate during the primaries.

She says the County Attorney has a lot of power.

"You're the head law enforcement for all of Merrimack County, so anyone charged with any kind of crime - my office prosecutes them."

Davis plans to prioritize rehabilitation for people with drug charges and look at building an alternative sentencing program for some non-citizens to reduce their risk of deportation after arrest.

In Hillsborough County, Michael Conlon beat the incumbent Republican Dennis Hogan by one percent.

Conlon is an attorney, but his experience has been on the administrative side of the law, not criminal. He vowed to improve communication with crime victims and make his office more efficient and accessible.

"I want to make sure people feel supported in the community, and feel able to report things," he says.