The Hippo


May 29, 2020








Kevin Cavanaugh. Courtesy photo.

Special election
What the race for senate district 16 is all about

By Ryan Lessard

 On July 25, voters will decide who will fill the seat left vacant by the death of Democrat Scott McGilvray in March. Their choices are Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh, Republican David Boutin and Libertarian Jason Dubrow.

The return
Boutin held the seat from 2010 to 2016 and decided not to run in the last election, citing family reasons.
“My daughter, who lives in Goffstown, was pregnant. She said, ‘Dad, I’m going to need your help.’ So I put family above politics and didn’t run,” Boutin said. “Fast forward a year later, my granddaughter now will be a year old just a couple days after the election. I spoke with my daughter and my family and my daughter said, ‘I’m fine, Dad, go ahead and run.’ And my wife said she was good with that as well.”
As a longtime state senator and a House rep before that, Boutin said there will be no learning curve if he’s elected back into office.
He said he would like to continue working on issues that were important to him during his time in office, such as expanding mental health and addiction services, reforming the child protection services of the Division of Children, Youth and Families, investing in the state’s infrastructure and helping businesses thrive and grow.
Boutin said he’s against gun regulations and has supported the stand-your-ground law and the so-called “constitutional carry” law that recently eliminated the concealed carry license requirements.
Many of these issues have already seen some movement, like the new office of the child advocate at DCYF, which Boutin said should make the agency more transparent. 
Boutin previously chaired the commission to study child abuse fatalities, which has recommended a number of reforms including the child advocate.
But he said there’s still work to be done.
“When we as the legislature do these things, it’s not the end. … We have to be vigilant about these issues and make sure that things are getting done … in the best interests of the citizens of our state,” Boutin said.
He’s also been a supporter of drug courts and the Granite Hammer initiative that provides local police with state grants that are to be used for taking drug dealers off the streets.
The union guy
Cavanaugh is serving in his first term as alderman of Ward 1 in Manchester. He’s the assistant business manager at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320 and said he has been a “blue-collar worker” in the telecommunications field for 32 years.
He defeated lawyer James Normand in a primary for the state senate seat.
Cavanaugh is cut from the same cloth as McGilvray, though less well-known. He’s received support from multiple unions and has made public education a priority.
“The funds coming from the state to the schools is very frustrating to me,” Cavanaugh said.
He knew McGilvray through coaching football, he said.
“I know his wife Patti well. We grew up together and went to high school together,” Cavanaugh said.
He said he wants to continue what McGilvray started by supporting a state minimum wage (the state currently defaults to the federal minimum) and addressing the addiction epidemic by providing more state funds for treatment, prevention and recovery services and facilitating the adoption of programs like Safe Stations, which started in Manchester as a way to connect people to treatment through an open door policy at fire stations.
Cavanaugh admits he’s new to politics and doesn’t consider himself a politician. Rather, he emphasizes his working-class roots.
“I’ve worked my whole life,” Cavanaugh said. “It means a lot to me and I’ve been talking to a lot of people about that. I don’t think anyone is going to bring that voice to Concord, as a worker, that I can.”
He said he would have supported past efforts to expand casino gambling championed by Manchester state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, but will consider any future proposals on a case-by-case basis. 
He is against any new broad-based tax. 
The Libertarian
Jason Dubrow is an engineer who lives with his wife and two kids at a small farm in Dunbarton. 
For him, being a Libertarian candidate in this race is significant because it brings new ideas to the debate.
“It brings a new perspective in the race. We know what the Republicans say. We know what the Democrats say, and it’s really like a pendulum. We keep swinging to the left and right, but what we really need are new ideas brought to Concord,” Dubrow said.
Among the issues Dubrow prioritizes is education quality and school choice, whether it’s through school vouchers, charter schools or sending kids to private schools with taxpayer dollars (now allowed thanks to the so-called Croydon bill passed this year).
“Education is very important for the future of our children and I support every opportunity for people to find the best possible education that fits their needs,” Dubrow said.
He also said he’s pro-gun and would address the drug crisis by treating it as a medical issue, funding treatment, diverting funds away from law enforcement and decriminalizing drugs.
The campaigns
Receipt and expenditure filings through July 5 show nothing from Dubrow’s campaign or independent committees on his behalf. 
He says that’s because he hasn’t broken the $500 minimum threshold yet, but he expects to soon. 
“I’m trying to run as lean a campaign as I can,” Dubrow said.
He said the amount of money spent in this race so far is “obscene” and he wants to see less money in politics, generally. 
He said he’s been campaigning with sign waving, radio talk show appearances, talking to friends, leaving flyers on mailboxes and going door-to-door.
After Cavanaugh won the primary, he received the endorsements of Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.
And on July 13, he released an online video ad. Boutin has no video ads but has been playing two radio ads on multiple stations, according to his campaign.
As of the July 5 filings, Boutin has raised more than $103,000 and spent more than $41,000. The New Hampshire Republican State Committee spent about $13,900 on mailed advertisements and the NH Priorities State PAC spent about $1,740 on mailers.
Cavanaugh’s campaign raised more than $93,000 and spent more than $55,000. A Washington, D.C.-based committee called LMP New Hampshire has spent more than $28,800 on polling, direct mailings and brochures (in four separately filed transactions through July 14) and Let America Vote New Hampshire spent about $970 on Facebook and Google ads. 

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu