To The Daily Sun,
On Tuesday, my ballot in the Primary will be cast for candidates who display intelligence, commitment, and independent thought irrespective of politics. Andrew Hemingway is such a candidate, and I'm pleased to offer my support to him.
My perspective of Andrew is that of someone who served on the Bristol Board of Selectmen when he chaired the Budget Committee. I have also chaired Bristol's Budget Committee and represented the people of Grafton County as a state representative. I am very familiar with local and state government. Lastly, I'm a small-business owner; Shackett's Store is in its 70th consecutive year on Newfound Lake.
When Bristol adopted the town manager law, all of Bristol's commissions — and the wisdom of the commissioners — were gone overnight, leaving five selectmen and a newly constituted Budget Committee to fill the void. It was a time of great change and uncertainty.
Andrew Hemingway was the chair of the Budget Committee, and as the selectman member of the committee, I worked very closely with him. As a public official, Andrew led with integrity, fiscal responsibility, professionalism, and maturity. He made us on the Selectboard look good, by listening to our recommendations and delivering a budget that was reduced by half a million dollars, but maintained town services. We selectmen reduced the tax rate to historic lows, and stabilized them, because of the budgets that Andrew and his committee presented.
Andrew bridged, what had been, a huge chasm of trust between prior budget committees and the Board of Selectmen. I know he will accomplish the same when it comes to helping the folks in Concord get it right, regardless of whether there's a "D" or an "R" after their names.
Andrew's opponent in the primary, I honestly know nothing about, except what little I've read on the Internet and seen on the commercials that are beginning to take over the airwaves. I understand he hasn't lived in New Hampshire very long, except on paper and weekends for all but the past two years.
He has no experience in New Hampshire government at any level. From my vantage point as an elected official, I can tell you that no matter how easy it may look when you're running, if you end up in office, you still have to know what you're doing. I honestly worry that big business corporate know-how isn't necessarily a good predictor of success in New Hampshire governance. We know this from past experience, don't we?
I urge you look into the actual record of accomplishment of both candidates in the GOP gubernatorial primary. If you're like me, the choice is clear as a bell: Andrew Hemingway.
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