Meet State Rep. Donovan Fenton

Age:

30

Area represented:

Cheshire District 8 (Keene Ward 5)

Occupation and employer:

Marketing Manager for Fenton Family Dealerships.

Number of years in NH:

30

Favorite place in NH:

Spofford Lake.

Describe NH in three words:

Clean, serene and green.

Year first year elected to the legislature:

2016.

Legislative priorities:

A living wage, LGBTQ, business, family needs, and mental health.

What was your path to politics?

I had always realized the need for community advocacy, but never knew how I could make a difference. I started to do campaign work on and off through college and then went on to get my masters in political management from George Washington University. Once I moved back to NH and started working for my family’s business, I realized I wanted to help the community that raised me. Its great because the people I get to represent are the ones that helped me so much. I get to represent my neighbors, my soccer coach, my old teachers, etc. Its a great feeling.

What barriers did you face running for office? How did you overcome them?

The biggest barrier was time. Finding a balance between a full time job and session is quite difficult. My first term I definitely struggled to figure out how to make it work. I am lucky to be in a family business where I can make up time on the weekends when there is session or committee.

What is the most pressing issue facing young people in NH?

What young people!? I think the problem is we educate our youth and they leave. Our high educational costs and property taxes make it very difficult for young people to stay in the state.

How could NH be made even better for young people?

I think we need to attract more business to NH. This would create jobs for college students so we don’t lose them. With such high educational/housing costs they have no choice but to leave the state for a higher paying job.

What advice do you have for other young people considering running for office?

It’s a great thing to represent your community in the state house but consider if you have the time to commit to it. Once you decide to do it make sure you knock on every door in your ward! The best way to understand what’s important to people is talking with all of them.

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