Merrifield Asks Council To Make Him Labor Commissioner And Let Him Remain Mayor Until Fall

Apr 12, 2017

Credit josh rogers/nhpr

Governor Sununu's pick to lead the state labor department went before the Executive Council for a confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Franklin Mayor Ken Merrifield told councilors his experiences as a public official, a state employee and, his  upbringing as "a son of middle class workers" has prepared him to be the state's top labor official.

"I would say that I am perhaps uniquely qualified, owing to my leadership of a municipal government organization, my friendships with legislators of both parties and my everyday work experience with state finance and accounting."

Merrifield was once vice chairman of the state GOP and has backed passing a right to work law in New Hampshire. 

Merrifield told councilors he'd curtail political activity if confirmed. But also said he'd like to remain Mayor until Franklin passes a budget and voters can pick his successor. Councilors questioned that scenario, which would keep Merrifield in two, potentially conflicting positions, through early October.