By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Local voters go to the polls Tuesday in a special election for state representative, pitting candidates Les Cartier and Phil Spagnuolo Jr.
The Belknap County District 3 election will determine who succeeds the late Rep. Don Flanders, R-Laconia.
Cartier won a Republican primary in which voter turnout was 2 percent. Spagnuolo, a Democrat, did not face opposition from within his own party.
Spagnuolo said the opioid crisis is his main focus.
“I'm running for state representative because I believe there are some serious issues facing the state that I bring a unique perspective to the issues,” he said.
“No. 1 is the opioid crisis. I am a founding member of Navigating Recovery in Laconia and I've seen the devastation caused by this and I believe we need to come up with some better solutions for that. I believe that I bring a unique perspective because of the work I do and because of my own struggles in my own life.”
He also said education and workforce development are two key issues for this region.
“Our state is getting older as we speak and we need to keep young people around to fill employment opportunities.”
Cartier, a retired hazardous materials expert who worked for the state Fire Marshal's office, is focused on jobs and economic growth.
“I would like to see the Laconia area improve from a business standpoint,” he said. “I want to see if we can can get some businesses in here, see if we can get some new people coming into this area and some more jobs for people coming in.”
He said that, on the campaign trail, he has met with people who are struggling.
“Some of these people can just barely make ends meet,” he said. “I want to see how we can help those people in New Hampshire, so they can improve the quality of their lives.”
Video of the candidates is posted on The Laconia Daily Sun Facebook page.