Q&A With Mark Racic, NH House Candidate

Anna Barrows, Contributing Writer

Mark Racic is a lifelong resident of the Seacoast. He’s lived in Dover, Somersworth and Durham roughly one third of his life in each. He’s a product of the Dover school system both parochial and public. He has retired twice; first from Teledyne Electronic Technologies as director of Marketing and New Business and again from the USPS as a healthcare bridge to Medicare. Now, Racic and his wife continue to serve the St. Thomas More Food Pantry for 23 years.

He is running against Allan Howland, a Democrat, to represent Strafford County’s 20 district in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

The New Hampshire (TNH): Why are you running for State Representative?

Mark Racic: Initially I was running because no one that is a current incumbent representative from Durham represents my views. They are all very progressive and very liberal and we agree on almost nothing. In my view, the government should protect individuals and their ability to prosper without a heavy hand. Too many progressive goals limit the individual in favor of the state.

TNH: National inflation has significantly increased the price of everyday living for US citizens, which primarily impacted low-income households and local businesses. What are your plans to relieve the economic concerns of vulnerable constituents and businesses due to inflation?

Racic: The primary causes of inflation are from Washington D.C. and are not from Concord. We can’t spend or print trillions of dollars, so the number one solution for someone from New Hampshire is to elect people for Congress who won’t spend trillions of dollars willy-nilly. The thing that the state can do is to watch its spending by being more restrictive on our priorities, lowering our taxes in order to leave more money in the hands of individuals, allowing businesses to get tax relief in order to hire more individuals and to hunker down while inflation rages. We have to be particularly careful on how we structure our policies on energy, as we don’t produce energy in NH. Eversource contracts with energy sources to meet our demands, national policy limiting production and distribution which increases the cost of energy. As a state, we should promote additional natural gas energy and liquified natural gas sources into New Hampshire, as it is the cleanest source of energy that we have.

TNH: The overturning of Roe v. Wade has sparked controversy surrounding the federal protection of women to have an abortion. Do you support the Supreme Court’s decision in allowing state governments to determine their own abortion laws?

Racic: All that happened with the Dobbs decision was that the Supreme Court reviewed whether or not abortion was included in the Constitution as a right. Failing to find references to abortion within the framework of the Constitution, the Supreme Court is required by the Constitution to defer to the states to make those decisions. In the case of New Hampshire, much has been made about the restriction that was placed on third term abortions by the State Legislature last session. By doing that New Hampshire has identical abortion laws as Massachusetts, one of the most liberal states in the country. Our governor, who is likely to be reelected, has indicated that he is not interested in any further restrictions. It is therefore not productive, nor is it a high priority of me, or I believe the State Legislature, to address the issue further.

TNH: As the state’s flagship research university, the University of New Hampshire fosters a sense of high-quality, collaborative learning in order to embrace student success. How do you plan to engage students in politics and promote research opportunities?

Racic: I am interested in what we are doing right now, and I can’t say that I have a full grasp of what research is being done and who is funding it. I am, by nature, interested in particular in any connections that UNH has with any businesses or non-US government institutions. I have concerns with China right now because we have to guard ourselves against the technological theft that is occurring. China is a very technological society, but most of their advancements have been stolen. Their penetration into our university system and into our political apparatuses are concerning. I’m in favor of the university doing research, but research in favor of a political adversary is not in our best interest. As far as UNH and the research facilities go, that requires not only the facilities, but also the people and those people come with a level of expectation of a lifestyle and salary or they will choose another place to do their research. We need to have a welcoming environment for both researchers and the companies that are doing the research.

TNH: If elected as a state representative, what do you think your biggest challenges will be?

Racic: I’ve stated before that I am only interested in serving for two terms; I don’t want to make it a life’s endeavor. I believe that everyone should pass the torch, rather than becoming crusted. So, my biggest challenge would be trying to get something accomplished. By being in a legislature, you need to form a coalition with other legislators in order to get something done. I think this is possible, as my Democratic opponents are not likely to be in the majority in either the State House of Representatives or the State Senate, so as part of the majority party, I am more likely to get something done. Right now the state has millions of acres of land, but they also have all these little orphan pieces of property. I would like to get on the Resource Committee and look at all of these lands to see where they are located in relation to cities or businesses. Then, I want to create a State Zoning Standard for low-income housing. Every town has a zoning board that are all unique to the cities and have their own requirements and zoning laws for building. All towns are permitted to enact these laws by the state. I am proposing a universal low-cost zoning requirement for these orphan properties to be developed. This would mean that developers could make tiny houses on orphan lots to provide more housing for people who are ready for starter houses or people who are ready to downsize, but still want to own their own property. I believe that the state has an opportunity here with these orphan properties to create needed affordable housing.

TNH: Why do you think voters, particularly young voters, should elect you as a State Representative?

Racic: I think many young voters haven’t really thought about the issues, but have been taught what they should think for their first 12 to 18 years. Very few of them have paid taxes or had the responsibilities of running a household. Many young voters are very intelligent and are very passionate, but the depth to which they understand life is shallow. Winston Churchill once said, “If you are not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart, and if you are not a conservative when old, you have no brain.” Every Republican that runs in Durham knows that there is no chance of being elected, as the youth are very liberal and tip the scale. I continue to run because there are still thousands of people in this town who need someone to vote for.

For students looking for more information on how to vote in the upcoming election on Nov. 8,  603 Forward offers information on their website. Students can also access more information on how to vote by checking out the University of New Hampshire Voting page.