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Councilor Burton Diagnosed With ‘Curable’ Kidney Cancer

Veteran North Country lawmaker Ray Burton has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, but said yesterday that it’s curable and he expects to complete his treatment within two to three months.

“I am still on duty to serve the people in the towns, cities (and) counties in the land I have come to love over my lifetime of public service,” Burton said in a statement.

Burton, 73, is a Republican serving his 18th term on the Executive Council. He’s also a Grafton County commissioner.

He was briefly hospitalized over the weekend for dehydration but was back at home in Bath yesterday, said spokesman B.J. Perry.

Burton won his first two-year term on the Executive Council in 1976 and has served continuously since 1981. His district covers a vast area in northern New Hampshire, from the U.S.-Canadian border to the Lakes Region, and contains 108 towns, four cities and all or parts of seven counties.

He said yesterday he expects to scale back his travel over the next few months, but will continue to respond to constituent requests and attend official meetings “via electronic hook-up.”

Messages of support for Burton came this week from both Democrats and Republicans.

“My thoughts are with Ray Burton for a full recovery, as I’m sure are those of his North Country constituents whom he serves so well,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, in a tweet.

Burton said in his statement that he would be “back under full steam” soon.

“I thank my constituents, family and friends for the outpour of support but fear not, Ray Burton will be back to 100 percent before you know it passing out business cards and combs!” he said. “I am forever humbly at your service!”