MEREDITH — Christopher Boothby, a former Belknap County Commissioner, said yesterday that, "I am giving serious consideration to running for the Executive Council in District 1." The seat fell open with passing of Ray Burton of Bath who held it for 35 of the past 37 years.
Boothby, a Republican from Meredith, served as an intern with Burton while attending graduate school at the University of New Hampshire. "Ray was a fixture in our personal lives and public lives for more than 30 years," he said yesterday. "His death was such hard news to receive."
Burton, he continued, "provided the district with a level of public service its people have come to expect and should expect in the future."
For the past 15 years Boothby and his wife Maren have owned and operated Boothby Therapy Services, a Laconia firm that provide occupational and speech therapy services to school districts. During the same period he also worked at LRGHealthcare, as director of outpatient services as well as in philanthropy and community affairs.
Boothby served as a Belknap County Commissioner for 12 years and during his tenure was twice president of the New Hampshire Association of Counties. While out o the country for the past several weeks, he said he received calls encouraging him to seek to succeed Burton, including from those he described as "members of Ray's extended public family. If we were to decide to run," he remarked, "we would do so with great enthusiasm." Growing and strengthening the regional economy, he called the major challenge facing the state. "As someone with a business background who has built and operated a successful business, I believe I would bring the necessary skills to that job," he said.
The filing period for the special election will be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday — November 25, 26 and 27 — of next week and Monday, December 2 of the week after. If only one candidate from each party files for election, the general election will be held on January 11. If two or more candidates from each party file, a primary election will be held on January 11 and the general election on March 11, town meeting day in New Hampshire.
District 1 includes about two-thirds of the land area of the state, from the Connecticut Lakes near the Canadian border down I-93 as far south as Tilton. It includes all of the townships and cities in Coos and Grafton counties plus 41 other towns and cities in Strafford, Belknap, Merrimack and Sullivan counties.