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Primary Source: Times to Go to the Polls

  • 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 Geoff Hansen

Published: 7/20/2017 12:01:59 AM
Modified: 7/20/2017 4:15:32 PM

A retired Intel employee and a Marine Corps reservist will face off in a special election for a vacant New Hampshire House seat in the Grafton area.

Bridgewater, N.H., resident Vincent Migliore won the Republican nomination for the Grafton 9 House seat in Tuesday’s primary, winning 243 votes to 86 for former state Rep. Paul Simard, R-Bristol, and 28 votes for Ashland resident Timothy Sweetsir.

On the Democratic side, write-in candidate Joshua Adjutant, of Bristol, won 204 votes, taking the nomination over Tom Ploszaj, of Grafton, who had 32.

The Grafton 9 floterial seat, which represents Grafton, Alexandria, Bristol, Bridgewater and Ashland, had been represented by Bridgewater Republican Jeff Shackett, who resigned in February for business reasons.

Migliore is a former technical professional from Intel, ran his own business in Bristol for 14 years, and has served on the Newfound Area School Board for a decade.

“I am ready to bring to bear my experience and knowledge of the many issues we face, and the willingness to learn from those wiser than me about the things I don’t know,” he said via email on Wednesday.

Adjutant, a Marine Corps reservist who ran for the seat last year and supports increasing the minimum wage and legalizing marijuana, has said he was inspired by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

“I am running for state rep because a 74-year-old senator from Vermont got on TV and said ‘If you want it done, go out and do it,’ ” Adjutant tweeted this spring.

The general election for the Grafton 9 seat will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

In other special election news, the Executive Council on Wednesday set the dates for the open Sullivan 1 House seat vacated by Grantham Democrat Andy Schmidt, who moved to New London.

The filing deadline for the seat, which represents Grantham, Plainfield, Cornish and Springfield, is July 28, with a primary to be held on Sept. 19. The general election will be on Nov. 7.

Vermont Shade

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos was inducted as the president-elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State last week, and he’s emerged as a leading critic of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Condos, a former Democratic state senator, has resisted providing voter data to the commission, as have many of his colleagues.

And his official Twitter feed Wednesday trolled the first meeting of the so-called voter fraud commission, even taking potshots at New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a fellow Democrat and member of the commission.

When Gardner said the commission needs to look into why so many Americans believe voter fraud is occurring, the Vermont Secretary of State Twitter account, which is managed by Condos’ staff, retorted, “Um, maybe because you all won’t stop talking about it?”

And, earlier in the day, after Vice President Mike Pence said he wants to ‘go where the facts lead,’ the Condos-linked account tweeted, “Widespread voter fraud has been disproved countless times by bi-partisan experts.”

Climate Politics

The McClatchy news service on Monday ran a story headlined “Kelly Ayotte’s back — as an environmental advocate.” That’s a bit of an overstatement for those who wonder whether nuclear power and natural gas are pro-environment.

What is true is that Ayotte, the former New Hampshire Republican senator who lost her Senate seat last year to Democrat Maggie Hassan, was named a senior advisor of Washington-based Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions. That’s a Republican-leaning nonprofit that says it seeks “commonsense, conservative solutions to address our nation’s need for abundant, reliable energy while preserving our environment.”

Ayotte already serves on Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. board of directors, as well as on the board of defense contractor BAE Systems Inc.

So what’s “responsible energy”?

The group’s website says, “Private companies and public investment are helping give Americans new choices in their sources of energy — natural gas, wind, solar, nuclear, hydro and geothermal power — and helping lower domestic energy prices. While we may not be able to completely rely on these sources of energy today, our leaders should be working with private companies to expand American exploration of these domestic alternative energy sources to ensure we can be a fully energy independent country.”

Sounds like a long way of saying gas pipelines, folks.

In other climate news, Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott today is scheduled to create a “climate change commission” to help “identify steps the state must take to achieve the state’s renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission goals while maintaining a focus on affordability and the economy,” according to the governor’s office.

John P. Gregg can be reached at

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