Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Gail Barry (Not I) Could Save District 18 Senate Seat For GOP

Little more than a week ago, I had the District 18 Senate seat, my own district in fact, the one Tom DeBlois is leaving to run for Executive Council, written off to Democrat Donna Soucy...despite the fact that my ranking system, due to Litchfield, has the district as leans Republican--see below.

Then came the announcement last week that lifelong Democrat and labor leader and Ward 9 School Board member Arthur Beaudry was going to enter the fray as an Independent.

Hmm, I thought.  This is sure to pull votes away from Soucy, and this seat is now ripe for a Manchester Republican to win especially if Romney runs well in South Manchester.

I spent much of the past week thinking of the ideal Republican, and two names came to mind--me (that's why I was rather coy over the weekend about announcing my own plans) and Gail Barry from Ward 9.

Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against George Lambert, the Litchfield Republican who has filed to run as a Republican, but look at the numbers.  Litchfield's population is 8271.  The average Manchester ward is in excess of 9100 people.  Five wards times 9100 equals approximately 46,000.  Last time I checked, 46,000 is a lot greater than 8271.

Plus, Lambert hasn't even finished his first term as State Rep, and he only finished eighth in the field of 13 winners (all Republicans) in Litchfield, Hudson, and Pelham last time.

At least two or three times, I tried to talk him out of filing for this Senate seat.

Gail Barry has run before.  She lost a Republican primary in 2000 to Will Infantine, ironically the same time I was losing a Democratic primary to Dan O'Neil (ah yes, we all remember 2000 well, I'm sure).

Gail is nearly as fiscally conservative as I am (nobody is quite that conservative, but she's close).  She has served as Chairman of the Hillsborough legislative delegation in the past and is currently the clerk.  She is one of county taxpayer's best friends when it comes to keeping the budget under control.  I wish we had a dozen more like her on the Executive Committee.  Gail's HRA score is less than mine, so she must be a tad less conservative than I am fiscally. 

Like me, Gail is no social right winger.  I would call her a social moderate. 

She's also former chair of the Manchester Concerned Taxpayers (whatever happened to them?) and I believe she's involved with Republican women groups as well.

She is most definitely pro right to work. So she should be able to reap that windfall of votes and Soucy splits it with Beaudry.

My first reaction to Beaudry's entry was not to discount him.  I recall well how he accomplished the near impossible--he won the School Board seat the first time as a write-in candidate.

However, that was in a low turnout city election; with the Presidential race at the top of the ticket, expect a very high turnout this year, and although we no longer officially have straight ticket voting, mark my words--many, many people will go on down the line and vote the full party slate.  That means that Beaudy's role will be reduced to spoiler (let's hope he doesn't figure this out and decide not to run--you can be sure Democrats are trying to talk him out of running, but I don't think he's overly fond of the establishment of either party).

Gail would make an outstanding State Senator; and here's the truth.  Had she decided not to run, I was going to run for the Senate seat.  I didn't want to run because I know I would be a lightning rod for attacks, and I have no interest in raising the type of money required for a Senate run.  Also, as I've noted here before, if I decide to do anything, I do it 100 percent, and while I have the time to serve as senator, I really would prefer to spend chunks of that time in other pursuits (like reading late into the night rather than studying bills and financial statements).

When I went to sleep last night, I was prepared to run, but I was overjoyed to hear that Gail is willing to do it.  I will hold signs for her and help all that I can.

There is a rumor today that a third Republican candidate might come forward.  Remember conservative Ward 9 Alderman Mike Garrity whose identical twin brother Pat is a very liberal Democratic Representative?  He's rumored to be interested.  As I recall, he lost the 2002 primary to Andy Martel (also Ward 9) who went on to serve two terms. 

In fact, I thought Andy might be interested in pursuing the Senate seat again, but he filed to run last week for the Manchester Ward 8-9-Litchfield floterial Rep seat.  There might have been some question about time spent in Florida.  As we recall when Fergus Cullen was struck from the Senate ballot, you have to have lived here five consecutive years to run for State Senate, but not for State Rep.

Gail is certainly more than qualified.

My ranking of Senate District 18 comes with a caveat.  These numbers are based on top of the ticket races, and I suspect that a Democrat is stronger the farther down the ticket one goes in Manchester, so it's not as good as it seems for Republicans.  On the other hand, if Ovide LaMontagne is the Republican gubernatorial nominee, he should run especially strongly in South Manchester, to Gail Barry's advantage.

Other than highly Democratic Ward 5 (a low turnout ward), the district is not that bad for a Manchester Republican, and that could leave it up to Litchfield to make the difference.  Riddle me this.  How many votes did Tom DeBlois beat Betsi DeVries by in Litchfield in 2010?  No, not just a few hundred.  Not just several hundred.  Try 1269 votes (2066-797).  DeVries won Ward 5 by only three votes (661-658—note the low turnout), but don’t look for a repeat of that this year.

There were no changes here due to redistricting, so the comparison to ten years ago is especially valid.

District            2012 Rating    2002 Rating

Ward 5           46.36               46.66

Ward 6          53.70               51.16

Ward 7           51.57               49.29  

Ward 8           56.07               54.15

Ward 9           51.55               51.84

Litchfield         59.38               54.14


Total              53.70               52.05


Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Beaudry!


Barnes Retirement Puts Senate District 17 In Play

            When I saw yesterday that Representative John Reagan, R-Deerfield, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, had filed to run for the District 7 Senate seat, an alarm went off.  This must mean that the venerable Jack Barnes (Red Sox fan extraordinaire—I hear he’s in Miami even as I write this) has decided not the run.


            You may recall that Barnes “retired” once before and Republican Mary Brown held that seat in his two year absence.  Yes, that would be the same Mary Brown who gravitated from conservatism to a pro income tax stance to run for Governor.

            However, that was a decade ago when virtually any Republican could win in District 17. 

            Here’s the dirty little secret about redistricting.  Probably thinking that Jack Barnes was a shoe-in for re-election, Republican Senate redistricters moved quite a bit of solidly Republican territory and left it almost as a toss-up in a normal year.  Gone, for example, are Sandown, Freemont, Chester, Brentwood, and Danville, all but one rated above 55 on my scale (and three make into the rarefied air of above 60).

            In fact, I have just completed updating all 24 Senate district numbers, and I may as well go through District 17 town by town here.  According to my analysis of how towns in this district shape up versus towns statewide in the five closest elections in the past decade, this district comes out at 52.14-47.86 (50 meaning absolute equality between the parties; anything greater than 50 tilting Republican, anything less tilting Democratic).

            In other words, there’s only a 4.28 percent Republican edge here according to my numbers, certainly good enough to make Jack Barnes a sure thing, but with an open seat, I’m moving this seat from the sure Republican category to slight edge for Republican Reagan (assuming no primary develops).

            In a similar analysis in 2002, I had the Republican edge at 5.34 percent.  If the district had remained unchanged, however, the Republican edge would have gone to 12.72 percent this year.  (As I’ve noted here in the past, Rockingham County is becoming more Republican as the North Country becomes more Democratic).

            In 2010, for example, all five Republicans won in Reagan’s State Rep district (Rockingham 1).  Reagan finished second nearly 400 votes behind top vote getter Frank Case, and only a few votes ahead of the third and fourth place finishers.  Similarly in 2008, Reagan finished second to Case (who has been ill most of the past year).

            Thus, while Reagan could be considered a fairly strong candidate to hold the seat for Republicans, he’s no Jack Barnes.  Another bonus for the GOP is that the Democrat challenger (R.B. Fraher of Chichester) may be well known in party circles, but it’s not a name I recognize.  Do you? If not, then we conceivably could see an even stronger candidate step forward now that the apple cart has been upset.    

            Here’s my chart for District 17.  In a coming blog, I’ll reveal exactly how I arrive at percentage for each district and town.  Pembroke, Allenstown, and Strafford tilt slightly Democratic.  Raymond and Deerfield are the only two strong Republican towns; the remainder is rather neutral.


Town               2012  Rating   2002 Rating

Pembroke        47.33               47.54

Chichester        50.27               50.35

Epsom              52.87               53.15

Pittsfield           53.78               50.35

Allenstown        48.43               44.46

Strafford           49.10               46.38

Northwood        51.00               51.76

Raymond          57.53               55.46

Loudon             51.28               51.23

Deerfield           56.37               55.32


Total                52.14               ----


Now look at the towns removed from the district, all moved to District 23 to shore up the Russ Prescott seat.  With the exception of Epping and Brentwood, these are among the most Republican towns in the entire state, but they are gone from District 17!


Chester            64.32               63.36

Sandown           61.13               53.95

Danville            59.08               55.13

Freemont          60.20               57.11

Epping              51.09               49.82

Brentwood         55.45               53.66


            Good luck, John Reagan.  Just a few moments ago, I decided to endorse Gail Barry for Senate District 18.  Had Gail decided not to run, I would have been forced to run for that Senate seat, and we could have been seatmates once again, albeit on the other side of the wall.  You and Gail will get along very well!

            There had been a rumor that Reagan was going to run for Rockingham County Commissioner, but Donald Stritch is already being challenged by Phyllis Katsakiores in the Republican primary there.  Who is to say which carries more power, senator or commissioner?  We know which has the bigger salary, commissioner by far!


Lynch Signs Executive Council Plan

Governor John Lynch has signed into law the House and Senate passed plan for redistricting the five Executive Council seats.

The plan came just shy of a veto-proof majority in the House and it seems to create four Republican districts and one certain Democrat district.  However, Lynch has decided not to draw a line in the sand over this plan.

Word is out that the Republican St. Hillarie will not seek re-election in the Democratic-controlled district which runs from Keene to Concord to Durham (albeit not to Portsmouth as the original House plan had attempted to do).

However, a Democratic primary is shaping up as former Councilor John Shea and Democratic activist Colin Van Osten have both filed for the seat.  The primary will be tantamount to capturing the seat.

Ray Burton isn't expected to face a serious challenge in District 1 which meanders ever farther southward.  Republican incumbents Chris Sununu in the Seacoast (as well as Salem area) and David Wheeler in the Nashua area should be favored (especially since Keene is gone from the Wheeler district).

District 4, in which Ray Wieczorek is not seeking re-election, is slightly more Democratic as it loses Derry and now extends all the way over to Barrington.  However with Goffstown, Bedford, Londonderry (as well as Manchester) in the district, Republican Senator Tom DeBlois should be favored over Democrat Chris Pappas, assuming DeBlois wins his primary against Hillsborough County Treasurer Bob Burns.

Prediction (with a high degree of certainty)--Republicans go from 5-0 control of the Council to 4-1.   

The filing period has proceeded as scheduled here under the assumption that the plan would become law. 


"Nobody Knows It" Prompts Ignorant Responses

It seems my “Nobody Knows It” posting Saturday has induced an email trail.  I share pertinent portions here.  Since my comments are first, it might be best to start at the back and read forward. 

Actually Tony, my district (ward) is one in which it's easier to get elected as an R than a D.  You could go back to straight ticket voting numbers; or analyze top of the ticket voting in ward 8.  Courage in running as an R or a D is simply a function of where you are from.  Some districts are virtually sure locks for Democratic candidates; some for Republicans; some are pure toss-ups.  You don't have to be a genius to figure which is which.  We could give them all ratings on a 1-10 scale.  I have and that's how I make predictions.  My ward (8) is the most Republican one in Manchester due to the suburban type growth in the ward in the past 20 years.  If a 10 is solid Republican, I would rank Ward 8 a 7. In my ten year top of the ticket analysis of all districts in the State (100 being pure Republican, 0 pure Democratic), Ward 8 comes out as 56.07 for the past decade after being 54.15 in the 90s.  (Ward 5, on the other hand, is around 46, but even more Democratic than that once you get away from top of the ticket)..  Some districts showed greater changes in the 10 years spans, much of Rockingham county becoming more Republican; much of the north country more Democratic for example.  (I'd be happy to share numbers with anyone individually and will post them all when I have lots of time to type).  Along with a Laconia ward or two, Ward 8 is the only city ward in the entire state that voted for John Stephen over John Lynch, and there are numerous other examples like this.   

However, I've topped the ticket as both a Democrat and Republican in the past (in every state primary and general election since 2000, but then people would accuse me of being egotistical when in fact, I'm just point to facts; I would hasten to add that I always do poorly in low turnout city elections; a presidential year turnout is bound to be very high; that's why I'm not really worried about me personally).  And Ward 8 may--correct me if I'm wrong--is the only ward in the city to never elect all three Representatives from the same party dating back to the 80s, maybe even farther back than that.  (Ward 1 on the other hand used to elect all three Republicans; it now elects all three Democrats--not so Ward 8).  Look it up!  How so?  Ray Buckley was able to win there when most Democrats would not have won--the Fran Riley, Jackie Domaingue days. 

Tim Horrigan is NOT right about my decision to leave the Democratic party.  That's probably because he listens to rumors when I would be happy to tell him the truth, the whole truth.  In capsulated form, you should check the history; my switch was just after the Democrats in 1999 (with much Republican support) managed to get an income tax through the House (albeit not a final version).  I have always been extremely fiscally conservative and Democrats clearly became more and more the party of big tax and spenders (a rather recent development--Democrats in the 19th century were the fiscal conservatives--Grover Cleveland is one of my favorite presidents).  Meanwhile at the same time, Republicans had become the party of fascists in my mind.  By 2000, Republicans seemed to be moving away from their fascist tendencies (perhaps best embodied by Jesse Helms).  Bottom line--Tim's analysis is more psychobabble than anything else.  I probably should have been a Republican all along (I would have won in 1994 had I been--the Steve Merrill landslide buried most Democrats, certainly in places like Ward 8), but I could not live with myself--always the number one consideration--and be in the same party of people like Jesse Helms. 

His Vileness, as usual, is totally wrong.  I did say that I wouldn't run if Scamman ran, and in fact, he did not run that year; so His Vileness thinks he has a scoop, but in fact, he's got the years wrong.  A little knowledge is a dangerous thing in the hands of one committed to deceiving people who don't know better.  His Vileness spends his life pretending to know what he is ignorant about.  I waited till the very last minute in 2006 and then decided to run only when Scamman did NOT file.  It was 2008 that Scamman decided to run again but I was told he would NOT be involved in leadership--he sure wasn't.  Democrats took control.  One would think people like Jasper would be ashamed of constantly being wrong, but they have no shame!

I find it endlessly amusing to see so many people weighing in to say they don't care what I do.  Such unmitigated foolishness! you didn't care, you would simply say nothing.  You are after all reading this and no one has a gun to your head, forcing you to hang on every word (Are you hanging?)  The fact that someone goes out of his or her to say something proves he or she really does care, that he or she feels some need to respond. Perphas I should quote a passage I read from a new book, The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr by H.W. Brands--maybe June 27...or better yet, maybe when I review it here later this week.   

As I noted in my blog Saturday, I am truly undecided about what, if anything, to run for.  Anyone who thinks he or she knows what I will do is simply a fool...because I don't know myself.  His Vileness always qaulifies for fool status, so I rest my case.  Now, I see that Manchester Republicans have decided to primary me if I decide to run for Rep in Ward 8.  That will not affect my decision; actually I suppose it could make me more inclined to run in Ward 8 considering how combative I tend to be, but I will make my decision on what is best for me and society as I see it.  The prime reason I would run for State Rep again has nothing to do with Concord, but I am committed to making sure someone keeps county government under control Dick Hinch and I have been more responsible than anyone else for doing that the past four years.  I see county taxes skyrocketing the next two years.  And that's highly factored into my plans.  So many fiscally conservatives become big spenders at the county level, His Vileness include

I just can't wait to see O'Brien, Ball, and Infantine attack me in a primary when my HRA score is higher than most Republican leaders.  I withstood seven vicious mailings from Democrats in 2006; if I decide to run, I think I can handle equally viciousness from Republicans who prefer those who will simply do what they are told rather than think for themselves.

Let me make this one promise--should His Vileness decide not to run, I promise I will run for State Rep in Ward 8, but I suspect he will run--and win--and continue to be a wart on the body politic.  He's no Doug Scamman.

From: Rep. Tony Soltani [


        I agree with your ultimate conclusion. Traditionally , it has been
easier to get elected in most of our districts as an R rather than a D.
Steve's District is not one of them. It has also been historically more
difficult to be a D rather than an R in the House; with a four year
exception. That is one reason I admire my friends who run as Democrats based
on their principles and not for the convenience of the times, or the
fleeting of the popularity of a party. This is not new for me. Since 1998 I
have always said that two most important ingredients of any democracy in
action are a loyal opposition and a free and vigilant press. Throughout the
years I have learned from and worked with my Democrat friends. Just look at
my most recent post on my facebook page! I must know the other perspective,
even if I am sure they are wrong at the moment. The bottom line is all of us
as fallible human beings can never be absolutely certain that any particular
vote that we cast is the right one. We have to admit the possibility that we
might be wrong, as passionately as we might believe in our position or
cause. I have a history of being a pest and sticking up for the unpopular,
or as my friend Gene Chandler put it " for the underdog". It is easy to
promote popular causes, not so easy to speak unpopular words.

-----Original Message-----
From: Horrigan, Timothy []

Rep. Vaillancourt was formerly a Democrat and ideologically he would fit in
better with the Democratic House caucus.  He is more conservative than the
average House Democrat, but there are some who are more conservative than
him.  There is a long and sad story about why he left the Democratic party,
with two very different sides to it--- but suffice it to say that it was
personal issues more than political issues which drove him out of the party.

I agree with Rep, Accornero that it takes less courage to run as a
Republican than as a Democrat.

From: Accornero, Harry

Does anyone really care if Vaillancourt is going to run or not? Everyone
knows he's a Democrat running as a Republican because he does not have the
courage to run as a Democrat!

Response—People like Rep. Accornero need to check HRA scores to see who is more Republican before they insist on making fools of themselves, ad infinitum.


From: []

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for
illusion is deep.  Saul Bellow

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

-----Original message-----
From: "Jasper, Shawn His Vileness"
Nobody asked me but.. I give the odds of Rep. Vallancourt running again to
be near 100%. A few terms back (when he was still talking to me) he told me
that if Doug Scamman ran again he would not. He told me that he would not
serve with that man again. Well guess what Doug ran and so did Steve. 


Response--Wrong, wrong, wrong, as noted above.



My Political Plan? "Nobody Knows It"

A German friend of mine spoke good but not perfect English.  When a question called for the answer, "I don't know", he used to say, "Nobody knows it."

When people ask me if I'm running again, I've always told the truth.  I am incapable of telling anyting but the truth.  DJ might be a pahological liar; I'm a pahological truth teller.

The truth is, "Nobody knows it."

In other words, "I don't know."

I'll make up my mind by Friday, the deadline for filing, but at this very moment, "I really have no idea."  I will have a firm idea, but at this time, I don't.

Wir werden sehen.

I actually give odds to myself as to how at a give time I feel about it; maybe 50 percent yes, 50 percent no, but the odds are always changing.

I had planned to write a thousand word essay here explaining how I feel about running, about serving, about the questions I need to answer in my own mind because as you'll know from the previous post, I believe if you plan to run, you ought to be willing to serve not just some of the time, but 100 percent of the time required!

However, I see my hour on the library computer is just about over.

I've only revealed my plans to one media source, The Concord Monitor.


Becaue only The Monitor asked.

So, you just might see yet another scoop in The Sunday Monitor, but then considering my indecision, it won't be all that big a scoop.

Hint--don't you just love that guy Beaudry!