Two running in Sunapee-Springfield NH House race

  • George Grant (Courtesy photograph)

  • Linda Tanner (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 10/18/2022 10:44:35 PM
Modified: 10/18/2022 10:44:33 PM

SUNAPEE — State Rep. Linda Tanner, D-Georges Mills, is seeking her fifth two-year term in the New Hampshire House on Nov. 8 in the newly drawn District 5 representing Springfield and Sunapee. Her opponent, Sunapee Republican George Grant, has lived in town for 43 years and is making his first run for statewide office.

Tanner, a member of the House Education Committee, has served locally on the Sunapee Advisory School and Town Budget Committee, Tri-Town Assessing Board and as a Project Sunapee volunteer.

She said in an interview she agrees with those who say the state is not meeting its constitutional obligation to adequately fund public education but does not believe the state needs a broad-based tax to accomplish the goal. Tanner said reliance on the property tax “has gotten out of control” and is worse since the state stopped paying toward teacher retirements and forced 100% of those costs onto the local school districts. She opposes taking money away from public education for vouchers to pay private and religious school tuition.

“One thing we should do is stop drawing on the voucher system that is draining money out of public funds (for education),” said Tanner, who retired from a career in education at Kearsarge Regional High School and Colby-Sawyer College.

She opposes the Education Freedom Accounts, the education tax credit program that allows businesses to donate money for education costs outside of the public system and claim a credit on their business taxes and the planned phase-out over the next four years of the interest and dividends tax.

It all adds up to one thing, Tanner said: “I feel after this past term, the Republican majority really just wants to attack public education and privatize education so, in the end, the state will pay very little and the parents will pay a lot.”

Tanner also said she opposes the divisive concepts law passed last session, which prohibits teaching that certain groups of people are inherently racist, inferior or superior to other groups.

“It has no good effect on education,” Tanner said. “It sets up mistrust of teachers and the schools.”

Grant, 69, is a retired building contractor who owned Grant Construction Company for 35 years. He was on the Sunapee Fire Department for 20 years, the Planning Board for five and coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball.

On school funding for grades K-12, Grant said he steadfastly opposes any broad-based taxes, including sales and income, to fund education. He supports school choice and the Education Freedom Accounts that allow eligible students to use state money to pay for education outside the public school system, including private and religious schools.

“I do think the property tax is unfair (as a way to fund public education),” Grant said, adding that he would be open to hearing and researching other options.

Regarding abortion, which has come to the forefront in this election with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision ending the constitutional right to abortion, the candidates have opposite views.

Grant said he supports the 24-week abortion ban passed by the state Legislature and, if given the opportunity, he would support tighter restrictions.

“I am pro-life,” Grant said. “I would make it more restrictive.”

Tanner holds the opposite view.

“I believe that abortion (decisions) is up to a woman and her physician and her beliefs,” Tanner said. “I don’t think it is the government’s place to make any restrictions on it at all.”

On the question of energy and the high costs of electricity and fuel oil, Tanner said the Republican majority in the Legislature the last term refused to support renewable energy uses such as solar and wind in addition to not supporting energy efficiency efforts for homeowners.

“Putting money out there for people to use to make their homes efficient is a big deal,” Tanner said.

Grant wants to explore the use of hydroelectric power but as far as wind and solar, he said they cannot meet the power demands of the state and are not as reliable as what the state relies on now.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

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