Hillsborough District 9 (Manchester Ward 2)
Occupation and employer:
Attorney at Welts, White & Fontaine, PC
Number of years in NH:
My whole life, excluding college and law school.
Favorite place in NH:
The Milford Oval. It’s the town where I grew up, and the Oval has a great mixture of small-town charm and entertainment.
Describe NH in three words:
Beautiful, Provincial, Reliable.
Year first year elected to the legislature:
What was your path to politics?
I’m a lawyer, so it’s no surprise that I’ve always been interested in politics and government. When I was a senior in high school, I participated in a civics competition called “We the People,” which really was the impetus for my decision to study political science in undergrad and then go to law school.
What barriers did you face running for office? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for anyone under retirement age is balancing work with running for office. It simply isn’t feasible for many working people, which is a shame. Thankfully, my employer was and is very supportive of my political endeavors. Without their flexibility, running and serving would be very difficult.
What is the most pressing issue facing young people in NH?
Probably affordable housing and student debt. Both of those are certainly an issue for me personally, and they go hand in hand. House prices seem to go up and up, and student loans make adding a mortgage difficult. People my age are getting priced out of settling down in this state.
How could NH be made even better for young people?
I think we are trending in the right direction. But we need more affordable housing (see above), better transportation options, and fully-supported public education. That’s what will attract young people to New Hampshire to stay for the long term.
What advice do you have for other young people considering running for office?
It’s unique opportunity we have in NH to serve in our citizen legislature. Go for it. We need younger voices in government to advance the initiatives important to us.