LACONIA — Joe Kenney of Wakefield topped Christopher Boothy of Meredith in the Republican primary for the Executive Council in District 1 yesterday.
Shortly before 9 p.m. Mark Laliberte, who managed Boothby's campaign, reported that approximately 60-percent of the districts reporting Kenney led Boothby by a margin of 2,117 to 1,756.
The vote for Mark Aldrich of Lebanon, the third candidate in the race, was not reported by press time.
In Laconia, where only 576 of the city's 9,620 registered voters — 6 percent — went to the polls, Kenney topped Boothby by 17 votes, 265 to 248, as the candidates split the six wards. Kenney carried wards 3, 5 and 6 while Boothby took wards 1, 2 and 4.
Boothby said that the number of voters who went to the polls appears to have fewer than the 9 percent he anticipated.
Boothby said, "I called and congratulated Joe Kenney and told him I intend to follow through on the promise I made to him when we first met during the campaign to support the Republican nominee. I will be endorsing Joe at a place and time of his choosing."
In a prepared statement, Boothby said that "in a two-month campaign, you get to know your fellow candidates for office real quick, and in talking with both of them, I learned a lot."
Boothby thanked his many volunteers and supports, especially the members of the "Boothby Brigade," whose "enthusiasm and company made the last five weeks so fulfilling." Likewise, he said that he enjoyed meeting the people of District 1 and was grateful to them for that opportunity.
Kenney will face Democrat Michael Cryans of Hanover, a longtime Grafton County Commissioner in the general election on March 11, town meeting day.