LACONIA — Tyler Gonnion does not see himself as a remarkable person, and it is for just that reason that he sees himself as a fitting candidate for mayor.
“I’m lower-middle class,” said Gonnion, who is married with three young children. “I’m in the same level as a lot of other people I know. And they’re excited that an everyday person is running for mayor.”
Gonnion, an auto technician, is challenging Mayor Andrew Hosmer in his bid for a second term. Another challenger is Dawn Johnson, who currently serves on the School Board and the state House of Representatives. The top two vote-getters in the Sept. 14 primary will move on to run in the Nov. 2 municipal election.
Although Gonnion has no previous experience in local government, he said many people he knows have reacted positively to his decision to run.
If elected he said his main goal will be to “positively change things,” adding: ”I like solutions rather than to leave problems floating.”
He wants Laconia to be a place where young people want to move to and raise a family and where their children will want to stay when they get older.
Gonnion grew up on a hay farm in Derry. He considered going into the military and the criminal justice field when he was in his late teens, but finally settled on work as an auto technician.
He said he has been fascinated by politics for a long time. Gonnion is 29 years old and has lived in Laconia for seven years.
“I think it’s good for people of my generation to get into politics,” he said.
But Gonnion said he is not running for mayor in order to push a particular agenda. Rather, he said, as mayor he would work to come up with practical solutions for the city’s challenges.
“I tend to take a neutral standpoint,” he said. “I would rather have things settled by compromise.”
He said that he decided to run for mayor because the position provides an opportunity to get involved in a variety of issues.
“The mayor is not dedicated to just to one section of city government,” he said.