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Primary Source: Two Hanover High Graduates Now Vying for NY Attorney General

  • Valley News political columnist and news editor John Gregg in West Lebanon, N.H., on September 20, 2016. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

Published: 6/13/2018 11:58:10 PM
Modified: 6/13/2018 11:58:20 PM

Two Hanover High graduates are competing for the top law enforcement job in New York State. Norwich native Zephyr Teachout, a 1989 Hanover High graduate, and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a 1984 Hanover graduate who has represented a Hudson River Valley district for three terms, are in a crowded Democratic primary with two other candidates.

They are seeking to replace Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat who resigned his post unexpectedly last month after three women accused him of assaulting them.

A spokesman for Maloney on Wednesday did not return a request for comment about the Hanover High nexus, first reported by the student paper, the Broadside. The first openly gay member of Congress from New York, Maloney earned a law degree from University of Virginia and later served as staff secretary to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2000. He previously ran for attorney general in 2006.

Teachout, a progressive law professor from Fordham, previously has run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and for a U.S. House seat.

Asked what she learned about politics at Hanover High, she said via email, “I was a runner in high school: track, cross-country, and cross country skiing were the center of my life. Working out with my coach, Jim Eakin, and my teammates we talked about everything: race, class, power, teen pregnancy, alcoholism, and the importance of treating each person with total respect. Eakin pushed us not just to win, but to be damn sure we shook everyone’s hand afterwards.”

Retired social studies teacher Chuck Bohi, who taught at Hanover High for 27 years, remembers both of them.

“Sean was very active in the School Council. He was a natural leader, and very interested in politics,” Bohi said. “You just sort of felt that ... he would be in national politics in some way.”

Bohi said Teachout was similar in her ambition — “She was going to follow paths that were going to lead onward and upward. There were a lot of kids in Hanover that way, but Zephyr and Sean were certainly two of them.”

And Bohi, a former Democratic state representative from Hartford, also noted that attorney general could just be a stepping stone for either of them.

“You know what they say about attorney generals? ‘Aspiring governors,’ ” Bohi said.

Candidate Roundup

With New Hampshire’s filing deadline on Friday, some more candidates are stepping forward.

Travis Austin, the chief of police in Hebron, N.H., has filed to run for Grafton County sheriff as a Democrat. The Valley News previously reported that Bradford, Vt., police chief Jeffrey Stiegler, who lives in North Haverhill, also is running as a Democrat. Incumbent Sheriff Doug Dutile, a Republican, hopes to retain a seat he has held for 12 years.

In Hanover, two Dartmouth College students have filed for an open New Hampshire House seat in the four-seat Grafton 12 district.

One is Baronet H.W. Harrington, a Republican. Also running is Dartmouth Democrat Garrett Muscatel, who is vice president of New Hampshire College Democrats and a plaintiff in a voting rights case involving legislation that opponents say could suppress student voting.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Bob Giuda, a Warren Republican who represents the Haverhill area, has filed for re-election.

In Vermont, state Rep. Chip Conquest, D-Wells River, faces another challenge from Newbury Republican Joe Parsons, who ran against him in 2016.

And Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, a former Progressive state senator who is on the Democratic ballot, will face a challenge from state Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton, in November.

Briefly Noted

The Revs. John Gregory-Davis, of Meriden, and Rob Grabill, of Hanover, were among 10 people arrested on misdemeanor trespass charges on Monday at the Statehouse in Concord. They were part of the national Poor People’s Campaign and refused to leave in a protest to raise awareness about poverty and the disenfranchised.

New London resident James Vara, the chief of staff in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, has been awarded the Caroline and Martin Gross Fellowship, which will allow him to attend a three-week program for state and local executives at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

The Vermont American Civil Liberties Union has launched a “prosecutor accountability initiative” by sending a survey to all candidates running for state’s attorney, asking them about such issues as the opiate epidemic, police accountability, and racial disparities in Vermont’s criminal justice system.

John P. Gregg can be reached at

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