By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Charges levied by County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) regarding a smear campaign against fellow Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) regarding a county sales tax, allegedly launched at meeting at a Gilford restaurant, have been supported by a former state representative and denied in part by participants at the meeting.
Former state Rep. Bob Greemore (R-Meredith) said he was told by Rep. George Hurt (R-Gilford) that he shouldn't have a sign at his business property on Route 104 supporting Belknap County Commission candidate Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) claiming Taylor supports a county sales tax, which he does not support.
"I told him (Hurt) that I thought it was inappropriate for him to tell me who I could support. I told him that what he was saying wasn't factual. I have talked with Hunter and I know he doesn't support a county tax," said Greemore, who said that he continues to support Taylor and that the sign still remains on his property,
Greemore said Hurt was at his property to put up a sign for state Senate District Two candidate Brian Gallagher (R-Sanbornton) when the discussion with Hurt took place. "I told him I could make up my own mind and that as far as I was concerned any Republican who wanted to put up a sign was free to do so as long as they asked for permission."
He said that he subsequently had a discussion with County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) about the Hurt visit and that he is the person referred to by DeVoy in a letter to the editor published in Tuesday's Laconia Daily Sun which criticizes Hurt.
DeVoy claimed in an earlier letter printed in last Tuesday's Laconia Daily Sun that Hurt and Rep. Ray Howard (R-Alton) were part of a smear campaign directed at Taylor by what he claimed was alliance between Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) and Jonathan Smolin (R-Alton), who is running against Taylor in the primary.
Burchell and Smolin have denied their campaigns are linked but have expressed support for each other.
In his letter, DeVoy charged that Burchell and Smolin were both present at a meeting at a Gilford restaurant along with Hurt and Howard and four other individuals at which advertising for the upcoming primary election was discussed. Rep. Hurt said the meeting described by DeVoy never took place and expressed his support for Smolin in a letter published in last Wednesday's Daily Sun.
Two of those who attended the meeting described by DeVoy, Rep. Herb Vadney (R-Meredith) and Rep. Glen Aldrich (R-Gilford), say that neither Burchell nor Howard were present at the meeting held several weeks ago at the Lakeside Restaurant in Gilford.
Vadney said that he and Aldrich were at the meeting, along with Republican candidates Norm Silber of Gilford and Marc Abear of Meredith. Hurt, who is not running for re-election, and Smolin were also present.
Both Vadney and Aldrich said there was no discussion about Taylor and a county sales tax and that discussion centered on advertising for the upcoming campaign and possible coordination of efforts.
"I called the meeting about five or six weeks ago, right after the filing period was over," said Vadney, who said that he had sent an email to the other candidates.
He said he was opposed to the idea floated at the meeting by Hurt that the four candidates for the state representative seats should tie Smolin into their campaign. But it was later agreed that they would run an ad in the Gilford Old Home Day program and that Smolin would be included at the bottom of the ad.
"George Hurt had done the ad for us two years ago and I assume that he's the one who had it put in this year's Old Home Day program," said Vadney.
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