NASHUA — There will be at least two Democrats facing off in a special election primary in September to fill a vacant state representative seat in Nashua’s Ward 8.
Former alderman Carl Andrade and former Board of Education member Latha Mangipudi will face off in the primary election. Potential candidates still have until Monday to file to run for the House of Representatives seat left vacant when Roland LaPlante resigned in February because of ongoing health issues.
Andrade, of Clydesdale Circle, served on the Board of Aldermen from 1978 to 1992, also sitting as president from 1989-1990. Mangipudi, of Salmon Brook Drive, was elected as a school board member in 2002 and served four years on the board.
Both candidates say they understand the time commitment associated with the vacant state representative seat, which will fill the second year of LaPlante’s two-year term.
“I think that during these times, Nashua needs good representation. I understand the issues, and I am already out there in the community,” said Andrade, 66.
Andrade has lived in Nashua since 1976, and currently serves on the city’s Business and Industrial Development Authority. He is the owner and CEO of Top Tier Connections, Inc. in Nashua, an international business development company.
He is a supporter of bringing commuter rail into Nashua and even further north into Concord. Andrade also believes that a gasoline tax would provide an ideal funding solution to help improve state roads, highways and bridges.
Prior to filing for the election, Andrade said he contacted some existing state representatives in Nashua to gain their insight. Since he owns his own business, Andrade said he is able to take time off when necessary to follow his political aspirations and assist his community.
“Throughout my career as a public official, I have always worked well with both sides of the aisle, and plan to do the same in Concord,” he added.
Mangipudi, 52, has lived in Nashua since 1989. She currently works for Interim HealthCare in Manchester, and has been active with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Nashua Democratic City Committee.
“This is my home, and I believe it is important to be a part of the political process here,” said Mangipudi. “This is my way of giving back to the community. I understand the value of this.”
She is hoping that more people become involved in the democratic process in America, and believes she can bring a different perspective to the table.
“It is an honor and a privilege for a first-generation immigrant to participate in democracy. This is a great opportunity,” added Mangipudi, who previously served as president of a local parent teacher organization. “This is the right time for me.”
She is also in favor of bringing commuter rail to Nashua, making healthcare affordable for everyone and supporting education initiatives.
According to City Clerk Paul Bergeron Mangipudi and Andrade are the only two candidates, so far, to file for the special election. However, the filing period continues today at Nashua City Hall, and is open until Monday at the Secretary of State’s Office in Concord.
The primary election will be held on Sept. 17, with the special election planned for Nov. 5.