O’Connell announces Executive Council campaign

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School Board Vice Chair Jim O’Connell on Jan. 30, 2024. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester School Board Vice Chair Jim O’Connell on Thursday announced he is a candidate for Executive Council District 4, kicking off a campaign for the seat now open following current Councilor Ted Gatsas’ announcement that he will not seek re-election.

O’Connell, a Democrat who is elected citywide in the district’s largest community, is a career tech and cybersecurity business leader and has a long history of community activism, particularly in education and improving public schools.

“I’m so excited to kick off this campaign to win back this critical seat on the Executive Council and bring a results-driven approach to Concord,” said O’Connell. “The work of our state government is too critical, particularly at this point in our history, to let the council be overtaken by political games. There’s simply too much at stake, including standing up for reproductive freedom against extremist attacks. So we’re going to win this race and get right to work delivering results.”

“This should be about getting things done for New Hampshire and making it easier for people to live, work and thrive here,” O’Connell continued. “I know how to bring people together and get big things done, whether in business, the community, or for our students and educators and I know we can do better than we are. That’s how I’ll run this campaign and that’s how I’ll get things done on the Executive Council.”

An Irish immigrant and proud American citizen, Jim has lived in Manchester for 27 years. He and his wife Kathy, have four children. Molly, Liam, Lily and Aidan, are all products of Manchester’s public school system. He served as a director for the NH Soccer Association, is a past Board Member of the North Manchester Little League and previously was PTO President at Hillside Middle School.

Gatsas made an announcement last week that he was retiring from politics after 24 years of public service. On the GOP side, former Hillsborough County Treasurer Bob Burns has announced his intention to seek the GOP nomination to fill the open seat,

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