State Democratic chair says St. Clair victory part of trend

09 13 Charlie St. Clair

Charlie St. Clair, newly elected as Belknap County District 9 state representative, stands outside his business, the Laconia Antique Center. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — In flipping Belknap House District 9, Charlie St. Clair showed Democrats can compete in any district in the coming year, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said.

“Voters are rejecting the Trump-Sununu agenda every chance they get, choosing results and hope over nonsense and negativity,” he said.

“St. Clair will be a great addition to the legislature, fighting for all Granite Staters," Buckley said after St. Clair defeated Republican Steven Whalley Tuesday in a district where GOP voters outnumber Democrats.

State Republican Chair Jeanie Forrester minimized the victory.

"Special elections often favor the party out of power,” she said. “The fact remains that under Republican leadership, 75 percent of voters agree New Hampshire is headed in the right direction. We remain confident Republicans will succeed in 2018 and beyond."

St. Clair defeated Whalley, 1,268 to 1,010, in a district that takes in Laconia and Belmont.

He will succeed Republican Robert Fisher, who resigned in a scandal over his creation of a website critical of women.

The state Democratic Party said in a news release the district has 12 percent more registered Republican voters than Democrats and that this is the third special election this year in which Democrats have flipped seats that were in Republican control.

The GOP maintains strong majority control in the state House.

Whalley said he was disappointed.

“It's not what I expected,” he said. “I made a serious effort and I was committed to the idea that I would do the job as well as I could.”

St. Clair said he tried to run a race that transcended party politics, and admitted to thinking his chances of victory were a “long shot.”

“I am overwhelmed,” he said after the vote totals were reported.
In a Sept. 5 filing with the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, Whalley listed $961 total expenditures on the race. Also, the Republican State Committee spent $2,343 on his behalf and the NH Priorities PAC spent $1,816.

America Votes Action Fund spent $3,072 on mailers for St. Clair. There were no further listings with the Secretary of State for St. Clair. Wyatt Ronan, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said it spent about $2,000 on St. Clair's behalf, but that this would be included in a later filing with the state. The county Democratic Party did not return a call for comment on its spending on the race.

  • Written by Rick Green
  • Category: Local News
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Migliore picks up two votes in recount for Grafton District 9

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
CONCORD — Vincent Paul Migliore (R-Bridgewater) took the oath of office on Wednesday after a recount confirmed his win in the special election to fill the vacant House seat in Grafton County District 9.
Migliore picked up two votes in the recount requested by Joshua Adjutant (D-Bristol) for a final count of 613-561, with Grafton Libertarian John Babiarz’s tally of 28 being unchanged.
Adjutant on Tuesday night posted on his Facebook page: “I want everyone to know that even if we don't come out on top, we will be back, with more numbers.”
The recount was a long shot, with the 50-vote margin representing 4 percent of the 1,200 votes cast in the election. State statutes set the fees for recounts, with a filing fee of $10 when the difference is less than 1 percent; $20 when the difference is between 1 and 2 percent, and $40 when it is between 2 and 3 percent. Beyond that, a candidate has to pay the $40 filing fee plus cover the entire cost of the recount.
Migliore was anxious about the recount because it was set for the same day the governor and Executive Council were meeting in Manchester. After the 8:30 a.m. recount in Concord, the winning candidate would have to travel to Manchester in order to take the oath of office, or wait two weeks for the next governor and council meeting. If not sworn in on Wednesday, the representative would not have an opportunity to file legislation for the coming session because the deadline for submitting bills is Sept. 16.
Migliore was able to make that deadline and, by 11 a.m., was the official representative for District 9.

09 13 Migliore
Vincent Paul Migliore takes the oath of office before Gov. Chris Sununu, with his wife, Louise, looking on, in a ceremony at the NH Food Bank in Manchester on Wednesday morning. (Courtesy photo)

  • Written by Tom Caldwell
  • Category: Local News
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Man charged with arson in Ashland

ASHLAND — An arrest has been made in connection with a fire and other crimes that occurred over the past several months in communities in both Grafton and Belknap counties, said New Hampshire State Fire Marshal J.William Degnan.

Ian M. Decato, 20, homeless (Plymouth/Ashland area) was arrested Sept. 12 in Ashland by the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office – Bureau of Investigations with assistance from the Ashland Police Department and the United States Marshals Service. Decato has been charged with one Class A felony charge of conspiracy to commit arson and one Class B misdemeanor charge of fuel gas fitting without a license.

This arrest was the result of a months-long joint investigation conducted by the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office, New Hampshire State Police – Troop E, New Hampton Police Department, Plymouth Police Department, Ashland Police Department, Center Harbor Police Department, and Belmont Police Department. Mr. Decato’s bail was set at $10,000 cash only and he was transported to Belknap County Jail. Additional felony charges against Decato are likely.

Additionally, anyone with tips or information about crimes committed in the Winona Road area of New Hampton are urged to contact Investigator Matthew Wilmot at 603-223-4289, the New Hampton Police Department at 603-744-5423 or State Police – Troop E at 603-323-3333.

09 14 Ian M. Decato

Ian M. Decato

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
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