By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Former Laconia Police Chief Mike Moyer won a closely contested race for the Republican nomination for Belknap County Sheriff by edging out Sgt. William Wright of the Belknap County Sheriff's Department by 66 votes.
"It was a very hard campaign," said Moyer, who said that Wright called him around noon on Wednesday to concede and congratulated him on his victory. Moyer said that Wright told him that he would not be asking for a recount, even though the margin of victory was less than 1 percent of the 7,136 ballots which were cast in the race
The final tally showed Moyer with 3,601 votes and Wright with 3,535.
Moyer praised Wright for "running a very professional campaign," and expressed thanks to the voters who had supported his campaign.
Moyer's margin of victory came from Laconia, where he served as a police officer for over 30 years and was chief from 2007 into 2011. He carried Laconia by over 400 votes, 1,095 to 621, and also scored big margins in Gilford, 596-387, and Meredith, 593-401.
Wright carried Belmont, where both he and Moyer live, 460-305, and racked up big margins in Gilmanton, 293-145, Alton, 400-240, and Barnstead, 310-106.
Moyer said during his tenure as Laconia's police chief the department became one of a handful of New Hampshire police departments that became a credentialed law enforcement agency – a status it maintains today.
He said he has the necessary experience to lead the department and would like to work cooperatively with agencies like the Laconia Police Department in helping combat the county's opioid crisis.
"The Laconia Police have become a model for dealing with the crisis and I think we can work well with them," said Moyer.
Moyer says he isn't looking to expand the department and wants to make certain that it fulfills the duties it is charged with, such as delivery of subpoenas, prisoner transport and courtroom security, in an efficient manner.
He said he will continue the special operations group.
Moyer said he plans to play an active role as sheriff and get out of the office as often as possible to meet with local law enforcement officials and the general public in all communities in the county.
The last primary contest for sheriff in Belknap County was in 1990 when Deputy Sheriffs Stephen Hodges and Tom Alden faced off, and Hodges won.
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