Cinde Warmington, Democratic candidate for New Hampshire Executive Council for District 2 and self-proclaimed lifelong health care advocate, expressed her concern at the health care rights of Americans during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in an interview with The New Hampshire.
As a health care attorney and the chair of Health Law practice at Shaheen & Gordon for the last 20 years, she believes her 42 total years of experience in the healthcare field could transform the N.H. Executive Council. “At a time when we have no one on the Executive Council with a healthcare background, it is the biggest share of our state budget. And we are in the middle of a pandemic. So I think that having this experience on the Executive Council in this particular time will be very helpful to the people of New Hampshire, including students who I know are concerned about health care.”
In addition to her position at Shaheen & Gordon, Warmington has eight years of experience working on the board of the Lakes Region Mental Health Center in which she was the chair and is now working on the board of Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord.
Her favorite professional accomplishment was when she “helped expand access to substance use disorder treatment services in New Hampshire.”
“The use of alternative treatments for substance use disorder were limited by statute in New Hampshire,” she continued, “And I was instrumental in getting that statute repealed and expanded the options of treatment for people in New Hampshire. The other thing is I have worked for years to expand access to telehealth services, and have been successful, I’ve been successful in that, mostly in the areas of mental health.”
These telehealth services, according to Warmington, have proven to be especially beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic. If Warmington is to be elected to the N.H. Executive Council, her main goal is to “work to expand access and lower costs for New Hampshire families,” according to her website.
Marjorie Smith is running for reelection to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, where she currently sits as a Democrat from the Strafford 6 district. She held this position from 1996 to 2010 and again from 2012 to present.
Smith has years of experience in many areas from public health to accessible education. She has chaired the House Finance and Fiscal Committees and is currently chairing the House Judiciary Committee. She served on the Public Higher Education Advisory Committee in the past and currently serves on the board of the University System of New Hampshire, where she spent her past summer working with staff, faculty, administration and students to make it possible for University of New Hampshire (UNH) to reopen.
Before her election she was the national executive director of Women’s Action for New Directions, which helped encourage female involvement in politics, and was the first chair of the board of the New Hampshire Women’s Policy Institute. She worked in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and chaired the Maryland Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She also worked on the President’s Appalachian Regional Commission, and was assistant to the first chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a chair of the board of the Maryland Committee for Day Care, advocated for availability of and standards for quality child care. She was also the first chair of the Durham Public Library, where she helped plan the separation from UNH. She also currently serves as the treasurer of the Durham Historical Association.
Smith is passionate about civil liberties, including reproductive rights, and affordable public education from preschool to university. “New Hampshire is an aging state, and we must find a way to keep our young people in the state, provide them with seamless opportunities for affordable, quality education, and then encourage employment and affordable housing opportunities to help students establish themselves in New Hampshire,” she told The New Hampshire in an email. She said one of her biggest accomplishments is being the prime sponsor of a bill that would create an independent redistricting commission that would draw district lines based on the results of the 2020 census. It has been vetoed by the governor twice, but she says she will continue to try with this bipartisan effort. She also said she has participated in many UNH programs on diversity and inclusion.
Smith will be on the ballot Nov. 3. Durham residents are encouraged to vote absentee or in person at Oyster River High School.
First elected to the NH House of Representatives in 1998, Judith Spang sits as a Democrat of the Strafford 6 district. She is currently running for her 11th term in the House. She says she is recognized as the House’s “premier environmental advocate” with respect to land and water resources, and has sponsored many bills that support protecting the environment.
She is currently a member of the Resources, Recreation and Development Committee, and the Lamprey River Advisory Committee, through which she got Congress to designate the Lamprey River a National Wild and Scenic River. In Durham, she serves on the Planning Board, is a member of both the Conservation Commission and the Land Protection Task Force, and is the founder and president of the Friends of the Durham Public Library. She says that the biggest local issue she would like to address is “thoughtful and effective growth for the Town of Durham and its surrounds.” She is currently working to establish the N.H. Rivers Management and Protection Program. She is also a board member of the Great Bay Rowing Club and a trustee of the Great Bay Trust.
Aside from politics, her past professional experience is in city regional planning, market research and corporate strategic planning. She worked as the regional planner of the Lakes Region Planning Commission and the City of New York.
Mark Brave is the Democratic nominee for Strafford County Sheriff. Brave, currently a lieutenant in the Sheriff’s Office, has worked in law enforcement for many years, including as Chief of Campus Safety for Great Bay Community College.
Brave cited overseeing the Standards and Training unit at the sheriff’s office, which encompasses the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. This allowed them to continue embodying best practices, he said.
As Sheriff, Brave hopes to address the disconnect between law enforcement, social services and the community and continue a dialogue about ways to improve these relations.
“I believe voters, particularly UNH students, should vote for me because I will continue to stay transparent in my interaction with the community. I will also use my position as Sheriff to connect with as many campus groups as possible to get their input on issues relating to campus life, social injustice and inclusiveness. Everyone should have a voice in their community and direct input into law enforcement matters from UNH students will prove to be a vital tool moving forward,” Brave said.
In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Brave’s campaign has done lots of “out of the box thinking when it came to campaigning and reaching voters,” he said, as well as motivating young voters on social media. The New Hampshire Democrats have helped amplify Brave’s message as well, he said.
Paul Callaghan, currently a lieutenant and prosecutor at the Strafford County Sheriff Office (SCSO) and a member of the Strafford County Superior Court drug Court Team, is the Republican nominee for Strafford County Sheriff.
A UNH alumnus, Callaghan has been involved with the university for many years, including guest speaking to organizations such as Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP), educating students on law enforcement, hosting interns, and more.
“An informed electorate is so important… I have always had an appreciation for involving the University student body in current law enforcement endeavors, not only to inform on important legal topics, but also with an eye on attracting UNH students into the law enforcement profession,” he said.
Throughout his career in law enforcement, several achievements Callaghan is particularly proud of include diverse hiring practices, implementing mental health court, and bringing a diversion program to the Rochester district court for people charged with misdemeanor drug or alcohol possession.
As Sheriff, Callaghan would like to input periodic de-escalation technique training throughout the county. “We want to avoid using force when the mission can be safely accomplished without it. De-escalation training can save lives under the right circumstances,” he said.
Callaghan would lead an effort similar to the Governor’s Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency by incorporating the EPIC/Active Bystandership Law Enforcement training developed by the New Orleans Police Department.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Callagan has maintained face-to-face campaigning while wearing a mask and social distancing. Callaghan has had to mostly rely on social media to reach UNH voters. “It is an amazing tool, but I really prefer the face-to-face interaction and give and take of spontaneous discussions,” he said. He has also participated in online events, walked through towns to interact with businesses and voters, and more.
Darryl Perry, the Libertarian candidate for Governor, previously served as Chair of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire from 2016 to 2018 and came fourth place for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016.
“The reason that college students should vote for libertarians is we’re actually going to do a lot of the things that you want done and the old parties aren’t going to do that,” he said. “I know that the right to vote is very important to college students specifically because one of the groups that currently are the minority in the house in the Senate, but they control the corner office, they want to restrict college students’ right to vote in New Hampshire,” he continued.
Perry is running on a platform of a criminal justice reform, lower taxation, and ballot access reform and voting rights, according to his campaign website. The website also states that he supports “reducing the size, scope and power of government on all levels, on all issues,” which are views that are in line with the Libertarian party.
Perry is also a registered lobbyist, and cited testifying to repeal the death penalty in New Hampshire as one of his favorite professional accomplishments. He noted how close the vote was – it was vetoed by the Governor and the veto was repealed by the Senate.
In terms of local issues, as governor Perry would work on the issue of affordable housing. He acknowledged that this is not something that the governor has total control over. “We need to at the state level prevent the towns from restricting the types of residential buildings that can be built in residential areas,” he said.
Campaigning has largely gone remote in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Perry said. “Back in late February, and early March, I ordered a bunch of bumper stickers and T shirts and all kinds of other wonderful things to pass out at various fairs and festivals that a couple weeks later all wound up being canceled,” he said. Much of his campaigning has been online, including weekly town halls with guests such as members of Black Lives Matter Manchester. He values organic conversations with voters about politics and policy, as opposed to “he very well planned out photo op sort of thing that traditional politicians do.”
Perry emphasizes the fact that voters want additional choices for candidates besides the traditional Democratic and Republican parties.
Democrat Tom Velardi is running unopposed in the Strafford County Attorney race. Velardi was appointed as deputy county attorney in 2003, and has been county attorney since 2008. Velardi has been part of the drug court team working to divert drug offenses, and the healthcare team that focuses on dealing rationally with mental health issues in the criminal justice system.
One issue Velardi would continue to address in his next term is how to effectively deal with mental illness and drug addiction inside and outside of the criminal justice system. He explained how these issues are often tied to homelessness, adding that the Seacoast area has had a housing shortage for a number of years. He emphasized using problem-solving techniques other than jail time and incarceration when possible and believes many issues that could be resolved by other agencies.
Velardi works to serve both the offender and victim populations. “I’m always looking for new ways to try to make sure that we have all sorts of avenues open to us as police and prosecutors to really try to treat people as well as we can, while still holding them accountable for their criminal actions,” he said.
Velardi is particularly proud of his work in instituting programs that approach crime and punishment in a rational way. “The thing I’m most proud about making programs that work in actually changing people’s behaviors, so that they as offenders can lead better lives, and that we’re not creating more… And so if that’s the thing I’d be most proud of because that’s brought the most positive change to Strafford county and certainly to Durham.”
In terms of his work and outreach during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Velardi said court looks completely different. So much is done virtually, but he still tries to bring his over 20 years of experience to each case, he said. “Try to understand what the real issues are that could be behind what the criminal action is working closely with the police to do. We have great law enforcement agencies here in Strafford County,” he said.
A UNH alumnus, Velardi said, “I like to carry forward what I learned at UNH which is to serve your community. Try to treat people the way you would want to be treated.”
The New Hampshire will be publishing more profiles on candidates next week. If you are running and have not received an email from us, please let us know so we can schedule an interview.