State Senate primaries: districts 8-24

Part Two. For Part One on districts 1, 2, and 8, see here.

The 2016 primary election in New Hampshire will be Tuesday, September 13. You can obtain a sample ballot from your town clerk or from the Secretary of State’s web site under “Election Information.”

Of the 24 state senate races, nine have primary contests in one or both parties. I haven’t surveyed or interviewed the candidates, but there are voting records available for those who are incumbents or who have held office before. Here’s a look at state senate primary races, with voting records on some life-issue bills I’ve followed in the 2015-2016 session. If one of your local candidates has no record to go by, it’s time for you to reach out with friendly questions. September 13 is coming up quickly.

Find selected 2016 House life-issue votes at this link.

Find selected 2015 House life-issue votes at this link.

I am counting on New Hampshire readers to let me know if there are candidates I have mistakenly listed as not having held state office before. I’ll make corrections as needed.


District 9: There is a Democratic primary, with the winner to meet incumbent Sen. Andy Sanborn in the general election. Lee Nyquist and Jeanne Dietsch. From Nyquist’s web site: “The ability to make personal medical decisions in consultation with a doctor and trusted advisors without interference from the state is of the utmost importance. Lee will make expanding access to women’s healthcare a priority as a State Senator, Lee supports a woman’s right to choose, and Lee stands with Planned Parenthood.” From Dietsch’s web site: “We need to fund this [Medicaid Expansion] and Planned Parenthood so that our less fortunate citizens have access to healthcare, including protecting a woman’s right to choose.”

District 10: There is a Democratic primary to replace retiring Sen. Molly Kelly. Jay Kahn and Kris Roberts state on their respective web sites that they support public funding of Planned Parenthood. Benjamin Tilton appears to be using a Facebook page in lieu of a web site. Roberts and Tilton are incumbent state representatives, and their less-than-encouraging voting records on recent life-issue bills are at the links above (state reps, Cheshire 12 and 16).

District 14: On the GOP side, incumbent Sen. Sharon Carson faces Ludwig Haken in the primary. I have no information on Mr. Haken. Sen. Carson has been an outspoken opponent of the buffer zone law; her defense of the First Amendment in the first Senate floor vote on the measure was nothing short of awesome. She sided with other pro-life Senate colleagues who backed a lousy version of fetal homicide legislation, in what I am sure was an effort to gain support from a hostile GOP colleague who is not running for re-election. (The gambit didn’t work.) She supported the successful bills on parental notification for abortion (2011) and banning partial-birth abortion (2012).

District 16: There are primaries on both sides. Democrats will choose between Scott McGilvray and Kolawole Adewumi. Neither has a voting record on the life issues. Republicans will choose between Don Winterton and Rep. Joe Duarte. As you’ll see from the links above to 2015-16 votes, Duarte has a good record with his House votes on recent life-issue bills. Winterton’s web page has no mention of the right to life. [Update 9/8/16: Winterton drops out of race due to residency issues.]

District 18: Three Republicans are vying for the nomination. Rep. Ralph Boehm has a strong record on the life issues (see links above). Ross Terrio and George Lambert are former state reps. Terrio was the sponsor of the partial-birth ban that became law in 2012 – a bill for which Lambert voted as well. Terrio and Lambert also voted in favor of New Hampshire’s parental notification law in 2011.

District 23: This is an open seat, with Sen. Russell Prescott now seeking a seat on the Executive Council. Four Republicans are seeking the Senate nomination: Maureen Barrows, Rep. Bill Gannon, Bob Goodman, and Nancy Steenson. I’ve already taken note of Gannon’s excellent record. Barrows was interviewed for Seacoast Online: “Expounding on her moderate views, Barrows said although she supports Planned Parenthood and its mission, she is ‘not for the termination of pregnancy at all costs.'” Make of that what you will. Goodman’s web page is silent on the right to life. Steenson’s site, on the other hand, contains this straightforward statement: “My husband and I are the proud parents of two daughters. I am pro-life and believe that all human life is worthy of protection. As your State Senator, I will fight for policies that do so.”

District 24: In another busy GOP primary, four Republicans are competing to replace retiring Sen. Nancy Stiles: Dan Innis, Steve Kenda, Jim Maggiore, and Ray Tweedie. None is an incumbent. Kenda opposes public funding for Planned Parenthood. The other candidates’ web pages do not mention anything about the right to life or public funding of abortion providers.

There are many gaps in life-issue information for these candidates, as you can see. If one of these races is in your district, reach out to your candidates any way you can: Facebook, local events, whatever. No candidate should think that the right to life is a non-issue.