Former state Sen. Sam Cataldo of Farmington killed in car crashBy MARK HAYWARD and PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
February 04. 2018 9:14PM
Former state senator Sam Cataldo, a Farmington Republican who gave up his seat in 2016 to run for the Executive Council, has died in a car accident.
Former GOP party chairman Jack Kimball said in a Facebook post that Cataldo was killed in a head-on car accident Saturday morning on his way to a finance committee meeting in Farmington.
“He was a great man, a true gentleman who we all admired,” Kimball wrote. “I am so so sad!”
Farmington fire personnel confirmed Sunday their department responded to a fatal two-car accident on Route 11 in Farmington around 8 a.m. Saturday. It appeared no one else was injured in the crash, fire officials said.
A Farmington police officer refused to comment and told a reporter to call the police chief in the morning.
Farmington Town Administrator Arthur Capello confirmed Sunday afternoon that Cataldo was killed in a two-car crash on Route 11, as he was making a turn in the area of Central Street around 8 a.m.
According to Capello, Cataldo served on the Farmington Budget Committee, and was on his way to a Saturday meeting as part of the town’s deliberative session at Farmington High School.
“He was a great man who was very involved in town,” said Capello. “He looked out for Farmington’s best interests in the legislature for many years. It’s tragic his life ended this way.”
Capello said he will ask the Farmington Board of Selectmen to hold a moment of silence in Cataldo’s honor when it meets tonight.
Senate President Chuck Morse said the news saddened him deeply.
“He was a truly genuine, caring man as well as a thoughtful and committed public servant,” Morse said in a statement.
Cataldo supported Medicaid expansion, which put him in the ranks of moderates in Concord. He also sponsored a bill that would make police and military financially liable for illegal weapon confiscation.
He ran against Andru Volinsky, a Democrat, for Executive Council in 2016 and lost 53 to 47 percent.
When Cataldo announced that he would not seek a term in 2016, he said being state senator was the most rewarding work of his life.
Gov. Chris Sununu called Cataldo a good friend and true patriot who loved New Hampshire.
“A real gentleman, Sam always put people first in serving his town, state, and country,” Sununu said. “He will be greatly missed by so many. Thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Cheryl, his family, and friends.”
State GOP Chairman Jeanie Forrester said Cataldo was a “dedicated” public servant.
“Having seen him last week at our annual meeting, all present saw Sam full of life,” said Forrester. “Through his service in the House and Senate, he was a dedicated member of his community and served his constituents with passionate dedication and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this time.”
The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Sunday tweeted, “Speaker Chandler and the entire House of Representatives today send along their condolences to the family of former Rep. and Senator Sam Cataldo who died yesterday in an auto accident. He was a true gentleman legislator.”