Moyer edges Wright for sheriff by 66 votes


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.

Mike MoyerMoyer  William Bill WrightWright
"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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Taylor, Waring elected to County Commission

County Commission chair sees restoration of civility in election results


LACONIA — The Belknap County Commission, which is in recent years has captured headlines because of continuing conflicts between commissioners, including the ouster of its chairman and continuing public disputes, is on the verge of becoming a more congenial place to do business.
That's the view of Commissioner David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton), who chairs the three-member commission, who said he believes that victories in Tuesday's Republican primaries by fellow commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) and former Belknap County Finance Director Glen Waring (R-Gilmanton) will create a unified team which will work together "in a productive and civil manner, placing policy above personality."

Hunter Taylor 2016Taylor  Glen WaringWaring
Taylor defeated Jonathan Smolin of Alton 2,035 to 591 in the District 3 commission race for a two-year term and Waring defeated incumbent Belknap County Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) 1,078 to 678 for a four-year term.
DeVoy had supported both Taylor and Waring while Burchell and Smolin, who had support from several members of the County Delegation, including Rep. George Hurt (R-Gilford) and Mike Sylvia (R-Belmont), had expressed support for each other.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Taylor said "In our decision making, Dave DeVoy and I have always tried to be guided by the best interests of the people of our county. Yesterday's vote says that our efforts have been well received. I want to thank the voters of the 2nd and 3rd Districts for the wonderful support we have going forward as we continue our efforts, as always subject to fiscal responsibility limitations, to make our county government even better and more responsive to the needs of the citizens of Belknap County. We now have a team that can work together and when we disagree, do so with civility."
Waring said that he is pleased by the response to his candidacy by the voters who saw his experience in county government, where he served as finance director from 2011 to 2015, as a plus. He said he is looking forward to working in a professional and collaborative manner with his colleagues, provided that he is successful in November's general election, where he faces opposition from Democrat Cherie Willoughby of Belmont.
He defeated Burchell 243-185 in Gilmanton, 201-180 in Barnstead, 182-126 in Tilton and 452-187 in Belmont.
Burchell became commissioner after defeating incumbent Commissioner John Thomas (R-Belmont) in the 2014 GOP primary 808-671 and winning an uncontested general election.
After Burchell was elected to the county commission, Commissioner Stephen Nedeau (R-Meredith) resigned his seat, saying he was unable to work with the new commissioners, leaving only Burchell and DeVoy, both of whom were newly elected. Burchell became chairman, but when the county delegation appointed Taylor to fill the vacant seat, he soon found himself a minority of one. At a clamorous meeting in March 2015, Burchell was ousted as chairman by a two-to-one vote, which he challenged without success in Superior Court.
The relationship between the three current commissioners continued to remain stormy. At a June 4 meeting last year, commissioners Taylor and DeVoy censured Burchell for leaking information from a nonpublic meeting to former Belknap County Nursing Home Administrator Matthew Logue, held while Burchell was still chairman .
DeVoy and Taylor again censured Burchell in May of this year for what they said was official misconduct in connection with his attempts to access protected medical records in the state Department of Health and Human Services database. Burchell maintained he was only seeking the information in order to find out how state reimbursements to county homes are determined.
Smolin, a surgical assistant at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, had campaigned by saying that he would bring significant private business experience to the commission and was concerned about keeping the services provided by county government affordable.
In recent weeks Smolin's business experience claims were disputed by Taylor, who cited several bankruptcies which Smolin had filed, as evidence that Smolin lacked the background to oversee county policy and budget matters.
Taylor defeated Smolin 139-31 in Center Harbor, 500-153 in Alton, 708-217 in Meredith and 688-190 in Gilford.

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November House contests shaping up following primary

Contests for the November election have now taken shape in Belknap County's nine legislative districts following Tuesday's primary election for state representatives.
In District 1, composed of New Hampton and Center Harbor, it will be a repeat of the 2014 race with incumbent Republican Valerie Fraser of New Hampton facing Democrat Ruth Gulick of New Hampton. Both women were unopposed in their respective primaries.
District 2, composed of Meredith and Gilford, will see Democrats John Anderson, Lisa DiMartino, Nancy Frost and Dorothy Piquado facing Republicans Marc Abear, Glen Aldrich, Norman Silber and Herb Vadney for the four seats.
District 3, Laconia, saw a contest on the Democratic side of the ballot for the four available seats with Liz Merry (617), Dave Huot (613), Tom Dawson (462) and Charlie St. Clair (430) winning nominations over Tony Felch (344). Republicans Frank Tilton, Don Flanders, Peter Spanos and Jim McCoole faced no opposition.
District 4, Sanbornton and Tilton, saw Dennis Fields (446) and Timothy Lang (240) winning Republican nominations over John Vorel (167), Robert White (168) and Richard Brothers, (162). On the Democratic side Richard Burke and Ian Raymond faced no opposition.
In District 5, Alton and Gilmanton, Peter Varney (714) and Michael Maloney (461) won Republican nominations over Gerald Theodora (162). Elizabeth Abbott and Hammond Brown won uncontested races in the Democratic Party primary.
In District 6, Belmont, George Condodemetraky and Diana Lacey were uncontested for the Democrats. Mike Sylvia (377) and John Plumer (264) won Republic nominations over Joel Weinrebe (198).
In District 7, Barnstead, Barbara Comtois (286) defeated Elaine Swinford (178) for the Republican nomination. Bruce Marriott is the Democratic nominee.
In District 8, Alton, Gilmanton and Barnstead, Raymond Howard Jr., was unopposed. There was no Democrat on the ballot.
In District 9, Laconia and Belmont, Democrat Beth Arsenault will face Republican Robert Fisher in a rematch of the 2014 race.

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