By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BRISTOL — Former Republican state representatives Burt Williams and Paul Simard have filed for the Grafton County District 9 House seat vacated by Jeffrey Shackett (R-Bridgewater), and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway intends to file as an independent, according to Bristol Town Clerk Raymah Simpson.
Bristol Democrat Joshua Adjutant will be running as a write-in candidate after being denied the opportunity to file in Bridgewater because he is not a resident, and in Bristol because he had not registered as a voter there, according to Simpson. Adjutant has filed now, but will have to wait for the Supervisors of the Checklist to certify his residency, which will occur too late for the current filing period.
The governor and Executive Council last week approved a request by the town of Ashland to hold a special election, setting in motion a statutory process that allows candidates to file this week for a primary on July 18, with the general election set for Sept. 5. Candidates could file with their respective town clerks on Monday and Tuesday, or with the Secretary of State’s Office in Concord between Monday and the end of the day this Friday.
The seat opened up in February when Shackett, who had been sworn in for a new term just 30 days earlier, abruptly resigned, citing work commitments. The five towns of the district — Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol and Grafton — initially declined to file for a special election, due to the expense and the fact that, by the time a new representative could take office, the most important business of this legislative session — the budget — will have been dealt with. They also took into account the fact that they still have representation from Robert Hull of Grafton.
Ashland selectmen reconsidered their decision and decided to call for the special election, after all. Their failure to let the other towns know irked Bristol selectmen when they learned an election had been scheduled. The statute governing special elections requires a request by only a single town to send it on to the governor and council for action.
The town clerks in other District 9 towns were not available for information on any other candidate filings, but Bridgewater’s Vincent Paul Migliore, who serves on the Newfound Area School Board, confirmed that he intended to file as a Republican candidate at the Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday.
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