Although the filing period for state offices is more than two weeks away (longer than that for State Rep seats depending on what happens in court June 6), some races appear to be taking shape.
Republican Hillsborough County Commissioner Carol Holden will face a primary challenge from Merrimack State Rep Chris Christiansen. This is a district (neither Manchester nor Nashua; many of the towns)which no Democrat has won in the memory of most of us. Holden must be considered a heavy favorite; she's a true fiscal conservative, and easily survived a challenge from Pam Manney (where have I heard that name earlier today?) four years ago. The Christiansen decision presumably means that a State Rep seat will be open in Merrimack (I say presumably becuase nobody knows what the court will do).
It's not my district and I have nothing against Rep. Christiansen, but I would wholeheartedly endorse Commissioner Holden. We need true conservatives in county government more than just about any place! As I recall, Carol was a State Rep when I was first elected in 1996, but stepped in to fill a commissioner vacancy at that time and has been there ever since.
(In many (not but not all), these commissioner positions are the closest thing we come to liftetime appointments--just ask Ray Burton. Keep the job till you graduate to that great budget table up above).
In Rockingham County, I haven't heard whether Commissioner Donald Strith is running again (he's been ill lately), but I've heard that two Republican State Reps, Derry's Phyllis Katsakiores and Deerfield's John Reagan, are in line to run for the seat.
Stitch, of Auburn, one of the more eloquent men to ever serve in the NH House, chaired the redistricting committee ten years ago then moved on to the commissioner's seat when a vacancy opened up.
The primary here would mean two more vacancies for State Rep.
My guess is that Phyllis would be the favorite; she usually tops the ticket for State Rep in Derry which is the largest town in the district. In fact, were Reagan to ask me for advice, I'd say, "Forget about it; run again for the State House." Regan had little success in his run for Speaker two years ago, but he'd be the perfect compromise candidate for Speaker when O'Brien is ousted this fall.
As always, you don't have to thank me John.