LACONIA — Incumbent David DeVoy held off two challengers to claim a 100-vote victory in the GOP primary for a seat on the Belknap County Commission.
Unofficial totals from the six Laconia wards and the towns of New Hampton and Sanbornton show DeVoy had 766 votes. Challenger Brian Gallagher had 666 votes, while former Laconia Mayor Tom Tardif had 502 votes.
There were no Democrats on the ballot.
Devoy said the results demonstrate that voters support his criminal justice reform efforts.
“I want to continue working to make a success out of the drug treatment program at the jail,” DeVoy said Tuesday night.
During the campaign, DeVoy said he has a personal stake in helping people with the problem of drug dependency because his brother and two cousins had drug-related deaths.
“I’m very familiar with addiction,” DeVoy said in an interview. “I know these people need help.”
He said his brother had appeared to kick a substance abuse problem, but 18 years after becoming clean and sober, he was prescribed opioids following an injury and died two weeks later.
DeVoy is a strong defender of the county’s CORE program, which stands for Corrections Opportunity for Recovery and Education.
Last summer, the county opened a new Community Corrections Center, an 18,000-square-foot facility for treatment, counseling and education of people who are at high risk for substance misuse and are in danger of re-offending.
DeVoy has had conflicts with the County Delegation, which has trimmed budgets proposed by the commission.
DeVoy, who owns gas station/convenience stores in Gilford and Barnstead, was elected to a four-year term in 2014. He became commission chairman in March 2015.
During the campaign, Gallagher said he would work toward fostering better cooperation and between the delegation and the commission.
Tardif promised to bring new ideas to the County Commission.
He said he got involved in politics after building a house and being shocked at how high the property taxes would be.
He got elected to the City Council as part of the small-government, low-taxes Straight Arrow movement, serving as a councilor from 1988 to 1989, and then as mayor, 1990-91.
He said during the campaign that he would like to “restore civility within county government by increased transparency while demanding accountability.
”For years, taxpayer suits have held state, county, city or town governments accountable because we, the citizens, are in charge. We are not peasants in a medieval kingdom, but rather the government is our agent, and we are in charge.”
Incumbent District 3 County Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) did not have a competitor on the ballot in the Republican primary for a four-year term. District 3 is made up of Alton, Meredith, Gilford and Center Harbor.
Glen Waring represents District 2, which takes in Barnstead, Belmont, Gilmanton and Tilton. HIs term doesn’t expire until 2020.