Two seek GOP nod for NH Senate

  • Thomas Dunne (Courtesy photograph)

  • Daniel Innis (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 8/29/2022 9:40:28 PM
Modified: 8/29/2022 9:40:15 PM

BRADFORD, N.H. — The two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the state Senate seat representing District 7 have a few things in common.

Both candidates are from Bradford, N.H., both own small farms and both say they support conservative principles of low taxes and less government regulation.

Daniel Innis, who was elected to one term in the Senate in 2016, is running against Thomas Dunne, a retired U.S. Navy veteran. The winner of the Sept. 13 primary will face Democrat Richard Lobban Jr. of Bridgewater, N.H., in the Nov. 8 general election.

The redrawn district is mostly in Merrimack County but also includes the Sullivan County town of Goshen and Grafton County towns of Grafton, Orange, Hebron, Bristol and Alexandria.

Innis, 59, was defeated in his reelection bid for Senate District 24 in 2018 when the Democrats took control of the Upper Chamber. A professor at University of New Hampshire in the Hospitality and Management Department, Innis lived in New Castle, N.H., at the time but now lives full time in Bradford. He is part owner of Trail End Farm in Bradford where they raise chickens for eggs and have plans to expand.

“Our long term plan is to get beef cattle and do a lot of goat milk products,” Innis said. “We did a full restoration of the barn and that is finally starting to wrap up.”

Innis said he is eager to return to the Senate and believes he brings a solid mix of experience.

“I have a background in education and business and those two put me in a good position to understand what folks are facing and how to solve some of the problems in the state,” Innis said in a phone interview. “My experience positions me well to understand the issues facing the state from a taxation and spending point of view to conditions that are best for small business development, which is the backbone of our economy.”

Dunne, 73, owned an asbestos and demolition business, which his son operates today, and now runs a small organic farm in Bradford that grows fruits and vegetables and raises poultry.

Dunne, who served on the Bradford Planning Board and ran unsuccessfully for state representative in 2018 and 2020, promises to bring a conservative view on fiscal and other issues to Concord.

“I will encourage the repeal of existing laws, rules and regulations and oppose the raising of taxes that harm private industry growth and are a burden to New Hampshire taxpayers,” Dunne said. “I am a supporter of taking proactive measures to protect New Hampshire borders to halt any flow of drugs, abuse, human trafficking and terrorism.”

Innis said his goals in Concord will be the same as those he sought to achieve in his Senate term.

“If elected, my objectives will again be to keep taxes low, try to get property tax relief for citizens and to ensure we have a proper level of regulation,” Innis said in a phone interview.

Government, he said, has shown a “tendency at times” to over-regulate and that drives up costs.

“It can be frustrating not just for businesses but for consumers,” Innis said. “My primary view is to keep our state as free as possible, keep government small and keep taxes low.”

Dunne, who has lived all his life in New Hampshire, describes himself as a “lifelong constitutional conservative and Republican.”

“I stand for both the New Hampshire and U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and preserving our liberties. Limited government and unlimited opportunity for all,” he said. “I will not be an absentee voter and I will be sure all legislation is constitutional.”

Out on the campaign trail, Innis said many voters talk about national issues, such as inflation, corruption, government spending, but also the economy.

“I’m hearing from many who say we are in a recession,” Innis said. “They are pulling back. They are concerned about gas prices and I hear about the labor shortages from businesses. Many of these are national issues but there are things we can do at the state level that can improve our ability to work on those and these are the things I will focus on.”

Dunne also has heard from voters about pocketbook issues.

“Gas prices,” Dunne said when asked what voters are telling him that matter to them. “They are trying to survive. Some are really hurting.”

Dunne also promises to be a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility in Concord.

“I will emphasize the need for a balanced budget and an end to wasteful spending,” he said.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

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