Candidate profiles: Senate District 12

Jim Luther

Town of residence: Hollis

Length of time living in town of residence: 24 years

Occupation: Investment manager

Previous elected office: State senator

Other professional or personal qualifications: I have worked in Fortune 500 businesses, such Wang Labs and Digital Equipment, and started and ran my own business of 30 employees serving Fortune 1000 businesses. I have also served on various nonprofit boards.

Identify two issues you think are important to the position you seek, and what you would do about them if elected:

The most critical issue I observe is the same our nation faces: total job creation and good jobs have stagnated for several years. We need to continue to build a robust environment in New Hampshire for new and good paying jobs and attracting new and growing businesses.

Areas that I will continue to focus on to do this include: 1) lightening the load of unnecessary and burdensome business regulations, 2) finding new avenues to lower energy rates especially for manufacturers, 3) streamline business taxes, S-corp and LLC taxes impacted by dividends and interest taxes, 4) work with hospitals, health care providers and insurance companies to lower the cost of health care and health insurance, and 5) work with the Department of Economic Development and colleges to provide more resources to businesses looking to expand marketing programs, technical research and export assistance.

I see a significant disconnect between the workplace and the skill-sets that our college graduates are receiving. I know of many businesses looking for skilled labor that cannot fill those positions, while at the same time I see a high unemployment or underemployment rate for college graduates.

To deal with this I will continue to focus energy on working with the community college system throughout the state and help to get more connected to businesses and chambers of commerce. The community college system is the best poised to react to the workplace needs and adjust their programs to train accordingly. I will also work to build more communication between businesses and chambers of commerce on their job-skill needs and colleges to be creating more internships and adjusting and creating new programs that meet the workplace needs of their greatest job needs.

Peggy Gilmour

Town of residence: Hollis

Length of time living in town of residence: 39 years

Occupation: RN; retired president/CEO Home Health and Hospice Care, Nashua; currently a health care consultant, CompassWise Consulting, LLC

Previous elected office: N.H. Senate, 2008-2010

Other professional or personal qualifications: Active in the community as a leader in civic and charitable organizations. Respected as a leader in the business and health care communities. In 2012 obtained certification as a legal nurse consultant from NHTI, Concord’s Community College.

Identify two issues you think are important to the position you seek, and what you would do about them if elected:

The state budget will continue to be the next Legislature’s biggest challenge.

The priorities set by the past Legislature have been misguided and damaging, and have shifted costs from the state level to the property taxpayer at the local level. Cuts to the university and community college systems, the tax levied on N.H. hospitals, cuts to mental health and our highway infrastructure, all while reducing the cigarette tax, is managing the wrong way around. I would work with legislative colleagues to craft a budget that limits spending while investing in the functions important to our citizens and our future.

I would accept the university system proposal to reinvest dollars with the guarantee of a tuition freeze and increased efficiency and accountability on the part of university system leadership. I will support our public education system and educators at all levels, and not weaken public education by shifting public tax dollars to private and religious schools.

The continued rising cost of health care is a significant problem for N.H. business and families. I will work with hospital and health care leaders to tackle this issue. The decision on moving forward with expanding Medicaid to insure the working poor will be huge in Legislative discussions.

The opportunity for N.H. to avoid some of the current cost shift that drives up the cost of private insurance should be taken very seriously. I bring the knowledge and experience to engage in the decisions and craft implementation of changes in health care and the insurance market in ways that are best for N.H.

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