By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — Democrats George Condodemetraky and Diana Lacey will face Republicans Mike Sylvia and John Plumer for the two open seats in Belknap District 6 house district in Tuesday's election
A former selectman, school board, budget committee and planning board member, Condodemetraky has lived in Belmont for over 50 years and was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1998 when he lost to incumbent Judd Gregg.
He started an engineering firm, now run by his sons, and developed a manufactured housing project in Belmont, and has long been an advocate of planning which will maintain the rural character of small towns in the state and protect .
Condodemetraky says that he is a lifelong Democrat who supports social services for the poor and elderly and affordable health care with a single-payer system. He supports the state's expansion of Medicaid and opposes cuts the Belknap County Delegation made to outside agencies.
His priorities include providing low interest loans to install systems which reduce fuel oil consumption for manufactured housing, keeping agricultural lands available for food production and protecting underground water supplies from contamination by development.
Sylvia, is a Free Stater and semi-retired Federal Express driver who was recruited to run as a write-in candidate in the Republican primary in 2012 after no candidates had filed by the June deadline. He was elected that year and re-elected in 2014, and has served as a member of the Belknap County Delegation's Executive Committee.
He has championed legislation at the state level which would legalize the cultivation and possession of marijuana and supported efforts at the county level to decrease funding for outside agencies, including the Belknap Economic Development Council, and says that he supports accountability, small government and lower taxes.
He said he is absolutely opposed to the Medicaid expansion, which was approved by the legislature and would like to see it repealed at the state level. He is also critical of the situation with the Belknap County Sheriff''s Department and prisoner transport, which led to legal action being filed against the county by a victim of sexual assault by former Deputy Sheriff Justin Blanchette.
Plumer, a Belmont resident since 1991, is a long-time civilian employee with the Army Corps of Engineers who served in Vietnam. Plumer has been active with Service Corps of Retired Executives in the Lakes Region and runs his own consulting firm, Plumer Associates.
He said he sees a need to return to family core values with less federal government and reduced taxes. He says he is a strong believer in the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
"I feel strongly about the need for a better economic condition for our part of the state," said Plumer, adding that there is a strong need for growing the area's workforce and expanding training opportunities to meet the needs of local industries.
Plumer said that drug problems are a 20th century plague and that curtailing drug trafficking and working to improve the social conditions are some of the steps needed to address the problem.
He said he favors a pragmatic and practical approach to dealing with problems facing the state, and says it's important that legislators find areas where they can compromise for the better good of those they represent.
A lifelong New Hampshire resident, Lacey is employed by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and served two terms as president of the New Hampshire State Employees Association Local 1984, representing the union in negotiations at the state level during difficult times for the state economy.
"My adult life, including raising my family and enjoying my grandchildren, has been spent here in the Lakes Region. My home in Belmont is my eighth in town and I am proud to say that I was involved in our school system and helped fight for our wonderful new high school, our renovated middle school, and I did my fair share of volunteering throughout my children's school years in Belmont." she said.
Lacey adds, "We deserve people who work across political parties and ideology to make good things happen. I support healthy communities, laws that help move the state forward so that we all have a decent chance of thriving throughout life and retiring with dignity and independence."
She says that instead of voting to reduce funds for outside agencies that provide services to elderly like senior transportation, Meals on Wheels, and other programs, she will support them for the that help seniors remain in their homes rather than entering a nursing home she will support them, as well as funds for economic development that will provide encouragement for job growth in Belknap County.
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