President Pierce? Why is it that sounds vaguely familiar?
With the announcement that Democrat Matthew Houde (from District 5, the Lebanon-Hanover area) is not seeking re-election, no less than one-fourth of New Hampshire Senate incumbents, that's six of 24, have gone public with their intentions to step aside.
Houde is the first Democrat, but then, there are only five of them.
The Houde district, extremely Democratic leaning now, becomes vastly more so when the new redistricting plan kicks in (the Governor signed the plan). You could almost say no Democrat (even one caught with a...stop...I have a joke here but I'm censoring myself...self censorship is after all the only valid form of censorship) could ever lose this new district.
Thus the question--who will be anointed as Houde's replacement? Not counting two former senators who still presumably reside in the district, the very good Cliff Below and the very bad, extraordinarily bad Ho Ho Ho Burling, two names come to mind immediately, Lebanon Rep Susan Almy, who knows as much about taxes as anybody in the state (she told me so herself...that's true, but it's also true), and Hanover Rep David Pierce.
Susan Almy led me to believe she's won't be running for the Senate seat. I'm careful not to say she definitely said she won't be running. That's not quite what she said, and one never knows. David Pierce, who is not nearly as fiscally conservative as I am (but then nobody is), is every bit my kind of social libertarian. He'd be a vote against repeal of gay marriage in the Senate and against the other election law mischief Homosexual Hunter David Bates might try to pass next year--assuming Bates can get re-elected himself. Bates finished fifth among Windham Republicans in the Salem-Windham district in 2010, and with the new redistricting plan, Windham only gets four Reps--yes that part of the plan is constitutional...but I digress.
David Pierce would be in the perfect position to fight for his causes in the Senate, and as I look more and more at the Senate to be, it just could be President Pierce. Yes, I'm now in the process of upping my prediction of Democrat gains in the Senate from three to six. That means I had them going from five to eight seats, but now see them going from five to11 seats (and I still have the Prescott seat staying Republican--Prescott better be more prepared for the race than he was when he fumbled the Congressional redistricting plan presentation before the House committee, a shameful performance as even Bates admits) or it'll be a 12-12 split and bring on President Pierce.
Where have we heard that before--President Pierce?
Until I hear differently, let's welcome David Pierce to the Senate even if not as President.
Let's also welcome Donna Soucy aboard. She will win the swing district 18 which consists of Manchester wards 5, 6, 7, 8 (my ward--no I will not run...unless some Pac comes forward with a $100,000 check...then count me in), 9, and Litchfield. Tom DeBlois is leaving to run for an Executive Council seat which looks far less Republican-oriented if the Senate plan passes.
I had thought that former Alderman and Senator Betsi DeVries would be back, but apparently Party Chair Ray Buckley wants his former beard Soucy, and whatever Raybo wants, Raybo gets...at least in Democratic Party circles. It'll be quite a step down for Soucy, from the $100,000 a year Senate chief of staff position (people are already questioning whether she resigned or was fired) to a $100 a year senator, but then Soucy doesn't really need the money. At last check, she was still living a home with daddy C. Arthur. A 40 year old live at home senator...get used to it...you just can't make this stuff up.
Maybe DeVries will run against RINO Toni Pappas for Hillsborough County Commissioner--DeVries is far more conservative than Pappas and would get my vote!
Litchfield Rep George Lambert says he's running for the District 18 seat, but with Manchester having 85 percent of the votes in the district, Lambert's chances are not good. There's former Republican senator Andy Martel, but then he didn't exactly brighten Senate halls when he was there before (sorry Andy, but it's true) and there's still that thing about his son's address...I'm not one to pass the sins of the son on to the father, but you can be sure those running Soucy's campaign would never let us forget the young Martel's address. Am I being diplomatic enough?
Three of the Slimy Seven Snakes (those Republicans who broke their word and sided with the Speaker ahead of the city and Mayor Gatsas over redistricting...including former delegation Chair Will Infantine) do in fact reside in that Senate district, but does anyone think any of them would stand a chance against Soucy? Not only is there the redistricting issue, but has anyone checked out Rep. Infantine's attendance record lately? Hint--it's pretty bad, and if I know it, you can be sure Soucy's people know it.
So let's give District 18 to Donna "Did I Really Quit the $100,000 A Year Job?" Soucy.
DeBlois and Houde are joined by four others not running--Gary Lambert in District 13 (Nashua); James Forsythe (District 4) in the reconfigured area which now centers on Dover; Andy Sanborn (District 7, which no longer exists in recognizable form but is mostly the old district four centering on Laconia); and Raymond White (District 9), Bedford.
Start out by giving District 13 to Democrats; Betty Lasky will most likely be back.
Democrats think they have a chance with Nyquist in District 9. True, it's somewhat less Republican, but Bedford still dominates population-wise and it's simply too Republican to call the seat in danger. (I've done a rating system for all towns and city wards in the state; with 100 being all Republicans in voting in the past ten years and 0 being all Democratic, Bedford’s number is 64.86, about as high as it gets). The question here is who will win the Republican primary. Sanborn says he's moving to Bedford and running; long time Bedford Rep Ken Hawkins says he's running; and Peterborough is now in the district meaning Andy (some dare call him RINO) Peterson could win should the others split the Republican vote. I'm keeping the seat in the Republican column but have no idea which Republican it'll be.
Nor do I have a clue who'll win the seats Sanborn and Forsythe are vacating. In a normal year, new District 7 would tilt slightly Republican, but this may not be a normal year. Let's give it to Democrats.
I also see Democrats winning the second Nashua seat (District 12, incumbent Republican Jim Luther but recently held by either Democrats or...gasp...RINOs). Although redistricting makes thre district more Republican overall, Obama coattails could be enough to bring a Democrat in here.
Certainly Democrats (either Watters or Sprague) will win the new Dover seat.
Having voted against Meredith's interests in the redistricting battle, District 2 Senator Jeanne Forrester becomes extremely vulnerable all of a sudden. Let's put that seat in Democratic hands...so with the five they already have (assuming D'Allesandro hangs on in District 16--Manchester, Goffstown) and a pick-up of six, Democrats are suddenly up to 11...without even thinking about the Prescott (23) and Groen (6). They both would have lost were it not for gerrymandered efforts to save them.
A 12-12 Senate with President David Pierce seems entirely possible.
For you keeping score, all it 2-4-5-7-10-12-13-15-18-20-21 for Democrats for a total of 11. And that’s with the Prescott, Groen, and Bedford seats all remaining in Republican hands.
The tide has turned, not in favor of Democrats necessarily but back in the direction a 50/50 House and Senate split.