MANCHESTER — More than two dozen candidates will be squaring off in the city's primary election Tuesday, Sept. 17. Some are well-known incumbents, such as Mayor Ted Gatsas, while others are new names.
The New Hampshire Union Leader sent a survey to all 26 candidates, and 25 responded. The answers, which begin on Page A9, will allow the candidates to introduce — or reintroduce — themselves to voters in their own words. The survey posed three questions, which the candidates had to answer each within 150 words. Answers that exceeded this length were cut at the editor's discretion.
Only races with more than two candidates per seat will have a primary. The top two vote-getters in the primary will square off in the general election Nov. 5, when the winners for all 30 elected offices in the city will be determined.
Among the races without a primary on Tuesday are the at-large alderman and school board seats and the one for welfare commissioner.
Along with the mayor's race, there are contested primaries for five alderman seats and for three on the school board.
Mayor Gatsas, a Republican, is being challenged by Alderman Patrick Arnold, who is backed by the city Democrats. The third candidate is Glenn RJ. Ouellette, a community activist who frequently speaks during the public comment period at aldermen and school board meetings.
Voters in Wards 2 and 12 will have the most crowded primary ballots, with contested school board and alderman seats. In Ward 2, incumbent Alderman Ron Ludwig faces Jeffrey Sullivan and Win Hutchinson, and Sarah Browning and Carol-Ann Giovanni are vying for the seat held by incumbent school board member Debra Gagnon Langton.
Ward 12 features open races for both alderman and school board member. Roger Beauchamp, the current Ward 12 school board representative, is running for the aldermanic seat, and he's being challenged by two political stalwarts, Keith Hirschmann and Dick Marston. The Ward 12 school board seat is a three-way race between Christine Duffley, Joel N. Elber and Constance "Connie" VanHouten.
The race with the most candidates is for the Ward 9 alderman seat. Incumbent Barbara Shaw is being challenged by Timothy R. Sawyer, Russell E. Spaulding and Victoria Sullivan.
Ward 7 has no contested municipal races in the primary, however, voters there will be making their pick for District 14 state representative. Republican Ross Terrio, the former office holder until 2012, faces Democrat Mary Heath, who is the former deputy state education firstname.lastname@example.org