In Mayoral Elections, New Hampshire Voters Prefer The Status Quo
Voters in cities across New Hampshire went to the polls Tuesday, returning some familiar faces to local offices while producing few surprises.
Concord Mayor Jim Bouley won a fourth term, easily defeating two challengers. Bouley took 83 percent of the vote against candidates John Cook and Chris Booth.
In Concord City Council races, Gail Matson defeated Ward 8 incumbent Dick Patten; Byron Champlin easily beat two challengers, including At-Large Councilor Michael Dellolacono, to claim the Ward 4 seat; and Allan Herschlag won the open Ward 2 seat. Jan McClure kept her Ward 3 seat, while Councilors Amanda Grady Sexton and Fred Keach both won at-large seats.
In Manchester, Republican incumbent Ted Gatsas narrowly won a third term, beating Democratic Alderman Patrick Arnold by fewer than 1000 votes. Two years ago, Gatsas won almost 70 percent of the vote and a 6,118 vote margin.
At-large aldermen Dan O'Neil and Joe Kelly Levasseur were also reelected in Manchester, while Ward 10 incumbent Phil Greazzo lost to Bill Barry, 677 to 771. In Ward 12, Keith Hirschmann held off Roger Beaucham by 36 votes.
A charter amendment on the Manchester ballot that would have raised the mayor's pay from $68,000 to $100,000 was defeated by a 8206-5811 margin. The failed measure also would have eliminated health benefits for aldermen and school board members.
In a special election in Nashua to fill the House seat once held by state Rep. Roland LaPlante, Democrat Latha Mangipudi beat former House Majority Leader Pete Silva, a Republican, 862-598.
LaPlante stepped down in February, citing health issues.
Mangipudi won her primary in September by 35 votes following a recount ordered after it was discovered election workers had mistakenly counted a box of ballots for her opponent.
No surprises in Berlin, where Mayor Paul Grenier easily won reelection to a third term. Grenier, a supporter of the Northern Pass project, beat Planning Board member and former councilor Mark Evans. Voters also returned the entire Berlin City Council to office - four incumbents were reelected, while four others ran unopposed.
In Portsmouth, the third time was a charm for Bob Lister, who was elected mayor.
Lister, who is the city's current assistant mayor and former superintendent of schools, was the top vote-getter of 23 City Council candidates on the ballot. He earned 2,692 votes. Former state lawmaker Jim Splain finished second with 2528 votes. Lister, the city's assistant mayor and a former superintendent of schools, finished second in 2011 and third in 2009.
In other mayoral contests:
- Ed Engler, president and editor of the Laconia Daily Sun, was elected mayor of Laconia, beating challenger Kailief Mitchell by a comfortable margin, 1155 votes to 403.
- Karen Weston is the new mayor of Dover after defeating school board chair Rocky D'Andrea. Weston, who has been an at-large councilor for three terms, received 2346 votes, or about 55 percent of ballots cast, to D'Andrea's 1930.
- T.J. Jean won a three-candidate race to claim a third term as mayor of Rochester. Jean won 2,481 votes, beating Fred Leonard, who received 790 votes, and Dennis Hancock, who received 130 votes.
- Kendal W. Lane cruised to a second term as mayor of Keene. Lane beat challenger Darryl Perry, 1683-168.