David Bownes seeking Ward 2 council seat; Kaileif Mitchell running for mayor

LACONIA — With the close of the filing period yesterday, the field in the mayoral election as well as in the race in Ward 2 increased from two to three.
Kaileif Mitchell, the moderator in Ward 5, became the third candidate for mayor, joining former city councilor and current state representative Bob Luther and Ed Engler, the editor and president of The Laconia Daily Sun, while attorney David Bownes filed for city council in Ward 2 alongside Richard Beaudoin and Mark Templeton.
Mitchell, whose brother Kyril chaired the Planning Board, said yesterday that he has aspired to serve on the city council for a number of years. "When Bob Hamel decided to seek re-election in Ward 5 and Mike Seymour stepped down as mayor, I saw an opportunity to become involved," he said. A chief in the Navy Reserve, where his speciality is aviation electronics, Mitchell represented New Hampshire when reservists from 50 states celebrated the Navy Reserve's 95th anniversary by reenlisting at a ceremony in Washington.
Mitchell said that at this point he has no specific agenda or priorities, but anticipated that the next mayor will have to address the issue of solid waste disposal and the future of the Laconia State School property. As a former corrections officer at the Lakes Region Facility, he said that he was familiar with the site, which he believed held some promise for the future.
"I really think it's time for me to do something for the city," said Bownes, "if anyone is foolish enough to vote for me."
The son of Hugh Bownes, who served as mayor, Bownes sat on the city council in the 1980s and both before and since has been active in politics without himself seeking office. Along with his work in the courtroom, Bownes is perhaps best known for his performances on the stage in any number of productions by regional theater companies as well as his contributions to the arts.
"I'm trying to put a new voice on the city council," Bownes said. "We need to have a healthy debate about where we're going and why and how we're going to get there."
In the contests for both mayor and councilor in Ward 2 the field will be trimmed from three to two in the primary election of Tuesday, September 10, when the candidates polling the fewest votes will be eliminated.
Of the remaining five wards incumbents are seeking re-election without opposition in Wards 1, 3, 4 and 5 while in Ward 6 Armand Bolduc, the sitting councilor, is challenged by Tony Felch.
Beth Arsenault (Ward 2) and Scott Vachon (Ward 3) filed for re-election to their seats on the School Board. Neither drew an opponent.