CONCORD— Two candidates with ties to thelate District 1 Executive Councilor Raymond Burton signed up to try to replace him on the first day of the filing period for the special election.
Burton, who served 19 terms on the Executive Council, died from kidney cancer Nov. 13. He was considered a political icon and the North Country’s biggest promoter.
Former Belknap County Commissioner Christopher Boothby, 47, of Meredith and a one-time intern for Burton, filed Monday afternoon.
Longtime Grafton County Commissioner Michael Cyrans, 62, of Hanover, also filed.
Boothby, a Republican, said he gained a significant understanding of what public service should be from Burton. “I served at the feet of the master. I saw how it should be done,” he said. “There will never be another Ray Burton, but I aspire to provide the same kind of constituent service he did.”
Boothby, a small-business owner, said restoring the New Hampshire Advantage is a critical issue for his district.
“My initial conversations with local officials, business leaders and GOP activists have been very positive, and their encouragement played no small role in my decision,” Boothby said. “During this campaign, I will travel throughout District 1 to lay out my priorities, to learn about ongoing projects in the communities and, most importantly, to do a lot of listening.”
Cyrans served with Burton as a Grafton County commissioner, and said he was a great role model.
“It was kind of humbling driving down this morning, thinking about the size of the district and the commitment it will take,” Cyrans said. “It is worth trying, and I’m excited about it.”
He said he wants to help the District 1 constituents serve in their government and be part of the vetting process for governmental appointees.
Cyrans, a Democrat, was born and raised in Littleton.
Grantham attorney and former aide to U.S. John E. SununuSheridan Brown took himself out of the race.
He said as a Senate aide and private practice attorney he has focused on making government accessible and accountable to ordinary people.
“Although I have decided not to seek the seat that Ray left behind, I will enthusiastically continue this work in my law practice and personal life,” he said.
Brown said he believes his work on conservation issues and willingness to work with members of both parties, make it difficult for him to win a low turnout, GOP special election primary.
“I deeply appreciate the encouragement I received from others who share my personal and political values, and I hope whoever succeeds Ray will have his collaborative nature, energy and passion for the North Country and Connecticut River Valley communities,” Brown said.
Other candidates from both sides of the aisle are expected to seek the seat.
The filing period is Tuesday, Wednesday and Monday. Candidates have to appear in person at the Secretary of State’s Office if they file Monday.
The primary is scheduled for Jan. 21 and the general election March 11.
If neither party has a primary, the general election will be Jan. 21.