MANCHESTER, N.H. – As Election Day draws closer, Democratic candidates from across the city gathered on Sunday afternoon to take a break from knocking on doors and renew their spirits for the final few weeks of campaigning and share their stump speeches with anyone interested in stopping by.
State Representative Josh Query was one of the organizers of the event on Sunday. Query was not re-nominated in the Democratic Party’s primary for their two nominations in the Hillsborough 20 State Representative District (Ward 9), but he was appointed by the New Hampshire Democratic Party to take the place of Brian Bagley after Bagley’s sudden illness prevented him from retaining his nomination in the Hillsborough 39 State Representative District (Wards 6, 8 and 9).
“It was a perfect weekend and we wanted to do something as we got closer to the election,” said Query. “We knew that there were a lot of people eager to meet our candidates that we haven’t caught on the doors or phones yet. We wanted to make sure they had a chance to hear from these candidates.”
New Hampshire House Democrats Victory Committee Chair and Assistant House Democratic Leader Matt Wilhelm is running again in the new Hillsborough 40 State Representative District (Wards 1,3,10,11 and 12) and Wilhelm is optimistic for his party’s chances to flip the Granite State’s lower legislative chamber given what he’s seen in Concord over the last two years and what he’s been hearing from voters in Manchester.
“We’ve seen this Republican House majority going after people who want to make their own healthcare decisions, their own free speech rights, and even voting rights are under attack. They are really focused more on power and control than on actually helping to solve problems our neighbors are facing,” said Wilhelm. “I think there’s a clear contrast between the two parties in this election: one is about making sure we’re building a Granite State that’s going to work for everybody and then there’s the other side looking at how they can exert power and control over New Hampshire residents.”
Jessica Grill, a newcomer in Hillsborough 18, a State Representative District that includes only Ward 12, has talked to many voters in her district multiple times already. While many voters are influenced by national trends, in state representative races, she believes that personal contact will be the key to victory, although she also believes that national trends are beginning to help Democrats.
“It is all face-to-face, it is just a pure labor of love for State Representative candidates and when you go out and talk to people, you can win over people who might not otherwise be interested in voting for national candidates (of the same party),” she said. “I really think the vibe is different (at the local level). I won’t say that it isn’t tough, but we have a great shot and better shot than we did a few months ago and I’m ready to bring us to a win.”