Ending A North Country Tradition: An Election Without Ray Burton

Jan 21, 2014

Ray Burton on November 1 arriving to applause and a standing ovation at a scenic overlook on US 302 being opened and expected to be named in his honor.
Credit Chris Jensen

Voters in Executive Council District 1 went to the polls Tuesday in a primary over the seat held by Ray Burton, who died in November.

Three Republicans Mark Aldrich of Lebanon, Christopher Boothby of Meredith and, Joseph Kenney of Wakefield are vying to see who will face Hanover Democrat Michael Cryans in March.

In Littleton the turnout was extremely light, says Gerald Winn, the town moderator.

“We opened at eight this morning and we’re four and a half hours in and there are fifty people who voted.”

The town has about 3,600 registered voters.

Winn has been moderator for 48 years.

He doesn’t remember Ray Burton first being on the ballot.

“He would have been just another guy, I think.”

But now, Winn acknowledges, it seems odd to think of an executive councilor who isn’t from above the notches.

“We will miss him, there is no question about missing him. As we usually do, we make adjustments.”

The winning candidates will face off March 11th.