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Three enter race for one-year seat on Hooksett council

HOOKSETT — Tom Keach was the lone resident who chose to take advantage of the extended registration period after town officials misposted the term for a council seat during the original filing period.

He'll face incumbent Adam Jennings and former Hooksett Police Commissioner Clark Karolian in a race for a one-year at-large seat on the council. It had initially been posted as a three-year position.

Karolian had first signed up to run for what he thought was one of two three-year terms, but changed his selection to the one-year vacancy when the filing period was reopened.

Though he went from unopposed to facing two formidable foes for the one-year seat, Jennings said the town made the right decision."It's better to get it figured out now and have this one-year term and then run again in a year," he said. "The more (who run), the merrier. We need more people involved, and I think I deserve the seat because I don't want to be a career politician. I just want to be the voice of the voters."

Keach said he didn't originally sign up because he didn't want to run against incumbent chairman James Sullivan, who is now running unopposed. Town Councilors Robert Duhaime and James Levesque of District 2 and District 3, respectively, are also running uncontested races.

"I wouldn't have run against Councilor Sullivan out of respect for him and his position as head of the council," said Keach. "I feel he's doing a great job and see no reason to try to upset that apple cart, really. He takes great enjoyment and pride in what he does, and he's a very integral part of the council and really a leader who's kept everything in line."

Last year, Keach had volunteered to fill the vacancy created when Leslie Boswak stepped down. Jennings was appointed to the council instead.

Keach said he has a lengthy background in Hooksett, including several years on the budget committee and other volunteer boards. He has a master's degree in public administration and, as a retired state police officer, touts 23 years of public service.

"I'd say I know the ins and outs pretty well," he said. "I think I've demonstrated, through town government and volunteering for civic opportunities that I'm well-suited for it."

Jennings, who served 12 years in the U.S. Army, many of them as a Green Beret where he earned a Bronze Star Medal, said he's proved to be fully capable of also serving as a sound-minded town councilor.

"I bring a younger outlook to things," he said. "I don't speak a lot, but when I do I make it worthwhile. I enjoy being the voice of the citizens and bringing a level head to the town council."

Karolian was not available for comment.

Voters have the opportunity to choose between the three candidates at the town elections on May 13.

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