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Democrats Settle N.H. House Races

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 9/14/2016 12:25:32 AM
Modified: 9/14/2016 12:25:36 AM

Newport — With few contested primaries for Sullivan County’s 13 House seats, District 1 incumbents Andy Schmidt, of Grantham, and Lee Walker Oxenham, of Plainfield, easily won Tuesday’s Democratic primary over challenger Cody Dziegelewski in their four-town district.

Schmidt and Oxenham now will head to the general election against Republican challengers Ken Gilchrest, of Plainfield, and Thomas Greenhalge, of Grantham, for the two seats representing Cornish, Grantham, Plainfield and Springfield.

In District 6, which represents Newport and Unity in the New Hampshire House, state Rep. Virginia Irwin and former Newport Selectman John Lunn appeared to have won a three-way primary in the two-seat district.

In unofficial results, Irwin had 253 votes, Lunn had 134 and former state Rep. Peter Franklin had 117.

The two Democratic primary winners will face incumbent Republican Skip Rollins, of Newport, and Bill Schroeter, a Selectboard member in Unity, in November.

In the Plainfield-area race, Oxenham received a combined total of 610 votes followed by Schmidt, a member of the House Education Committee, with 594, easily defeating Dziegelewski (96), a recent University of Vermont graduate, by a comfortable margin in all four towns.

Irwin represented District 6 from 2012-14 and decided to run for that seat again to allow Sunapee Democrat Linda Tanner, who was defeated in a bid for the Senate two years ago, to run in District 9, a floterial district covering nine towns. She will face former Republican state Rep. Spec Bowers, of Sunapee.

Both parties have a full slate of candidates in Sullivan County for the November election, where Democrats will try to build upon their 8-5 majority, which includes all four seats representing Claremont. One of those incumbents, Andrew O’Hearne, a Claremont police officer, is running for county sheriff against incumbent Republican John Simonds, a Claremont city councilor.

Other incumbents running in November are Sue Gottling, D-Sunapee, District 2; Ray Gagnon, D-Claremont, District 5; Larry Converse, D-Claremont, District 3; Steve Smith, R-Charlestown, District 11; Thomas LaWare, R-Charlestown, District 8; and John Cloutier, D-Claremont, District 10.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


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