LACONIA — A primary election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 14 — the first time in four years — to determine the candidates who will be on the November ballot for mayor and the Ward 4 City Council seat.
Three candidates are vying for each of the positions.
Mayor Andrew Hosmer, who is seeking his second term, is being challenged by Dawn Johnson, a member of the School Board and a state representative, and Tyler Gonnion, who is making his first bid for public office.
In the Ward 4 contest, incumbent Councilor Mark Haynes is facing opposition from Dan Lasata and Marc Forgione.
City elections are non-partisan. Whenever there are more than two candidates for mayor or any City Council seat or ward office, a primary is held to thin the field, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the municipal election in November.
The polls will be open today from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to City Clerk Cheryl Hebert.
The last time a primary election was needed to thin the field of candidates was in 2017 when three candidates filed to run for three of the six City Council seats — Wards 1, 2, and 4.
At that time only a few hundred voters turned out in each of the wards where there was a contest. The largest turnout was in Ward 1 where 360 votes cast ballots, while in Ward 2 just 224 voters showed up, and 290 in Ward 4.
Hebert said that as of Monday morning 27 voters had requested absentee ballots, of which 23 had been returned.
Voting will take place in each of the city’s six wards. Polling places are: Ward 1, Beane Conference Center, Blueberry Lane; Ward 2, St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall, Gilford Avenue; Ward 3, Laconia Middle School, McGrath Street; Ward 4, Memorial Park Clubhouse, Lindsay Court; Ward 5, Woodland Heights School, Winter Street; Ward 6, Leavitt Park Clubhouse, Elm Street.