Special election will fill open state rep seat

DERRY NEWS/File photoDerry will host a special election to fill a vacated state representative seat in District 6.

DERRY — The town now has dates for a special election to replace a state representative that moved out of the community.

At a meeting Aug. 2, councilors approved moving forward with a state request to ask for the special election to represent District 6, part of a group of 10 total representatives.

Former representative Anne Copp vacated her seat when she moved away.

The state's Executive Council voted in favor of holding the special election in Derry to fill that spot.

The dates include a primary set for Oct. 19, and the special election is set for Dec. 7.

Interested candidates who hope to sign up to run for Copp's seat have until Aug. 27 to file with the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, 107 North Main Street in Concord.

The town also scheduled times earlier this week for candidates to sign up.

As of Monday midday, three candidates had signed up to run — Republicans Neil Wetherbee and Tom Cardon, and Democrat Mary Eisner.

Copp, a Republican, was elected as a Derry state representative in November 2020, joining the nine others making up the Rockingham County District 6 list — Phyllis Katsakiores, David Milz, David Love, Richard Tripp, Erica Layon, Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien, Mary Ann Kimball, Stephen Pearson, and John Potucek.

The question of whether Derry even needed a tenth representative to fill the spot until the next election in 2022 was also on councilors’ minds.

Councilor Erin Spencer said at an earlier meeting that Derry should be fully represented in Concord with the official slate of 10.

“However we go about this,” she said, “it’s our job to get that word out there. I think the right thing to do is have full representation in Concord.”

A special election will cost money, anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 for both the primary and general election. Add in costs for any COVID-related plans and the total could go up.

Town Administrator David Caron said Derry had funding available to handle the elections.

Copp said in an email she has no longer been a Derry resident since July 1, and sold her home quickly.

“I’ll miss my constituents greatly,” Copp said, adding it's important for Derry to be fully represented.

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