October 18, 2007
to hold special election
The Goffstown Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to request a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of state Rep. Bruce Hunter.
On the same night, Monday, Oct. 15, the Weare Board of Selectmen unanimously decided not to request a special election due to budget concerns.
Hunter, a three-term Goffstown selectman who served as a District 7 state representative for more than 18 years, died late September at the age of 74. His death left the eight-member delegation that normally represents Weare and Goffstown one representative short.
Representatives Russell Day and Pamela Manney, along with Goffstown and Weare citizens, spoke earnestly before the Goffstown board on Oct. 9 and 11 about the importance of having full representation during the busy spring season and urged the board to act quickly. If the election was not held by March, the district would have to wait until November 2008 before being able to hold another election, according to Goffstown Town Administrator Sue
Desruisseaux explained that if an official request was put in to the governor and council by their next meeting date of Oct. 31, the earliest possible date for an election would be Jan. 22, with the primary held on Dec. 18. If the primary was uncontested, it would count as the election.
All four selectmen present at the meeting (selectman
Scott Gross was absent) were in favor of making the official request.
Selectman Phil D’Avanza wanted Goffstown’s request for the election to come independently of Weare, to clearly express Goffstown’s desire for the election.
Vivian Blondeau said she had received calls in favor of an election and calls asking not to spend money on a special election, but felt it was more important to have full representation. Nick Campasano expressed a desire to hear from
That same evening, the Weare Board of Selectmen unanimously decided not to request a special election, said Town Administrator Fred Ventresco. The main concern was the lack of money for holding a special election, which would cost upwards of $5,000.
“Budgets are quite tight,” said Ventresco. “Five thousand dollars may not seem like a lot, but it is this year.” The town is currently running on a default budget.
Ventresco said the board was concerned about not having representation and would like to hold the special election with the upcoming presidential primary.
While that option may be theoretically possible, with speculation of the primary date going into early January and even December, it seems increasingly unlikely.
Desruisseaux emphasized the fact that the earliest possible date for the special election would be Jan. 22.
According to the statutes, a state representative vacancy in a multi-town or city district will be filled by special election at the request of any of the district’s towns or cities, said Paula Penney of the secretary of state’s office.
“If Goffstown submits the request to the governor and council, Weare is obligated to hold the election as well,” Penney said.
Reproduced by the Goffstown