Special Election: Maneval pushes to keep District 9 blue

  • Andrew Maneval campaigns for voting rights at a Granny D. march in Keene. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/20/2021 3:49:37 PM

Andrew Maneval of Harrisville, backed by years of municipal government experience, hopes to take a seat at the state level at next week’s special election to fill the empty State Representative seat for District 9.

The election will fill the seat formerly held by Doug Ley, a Jaffrey Democrat, who died of cancer in June. District 9 includes Harrisville, Roxbury, Dublin and Jaffrey.

Maneval is facing Republican Rita Mattson on the general ticket, after Mattson handily won the primary round against Lucille Decker in a 232-47 vote. Maneval was unopposed in the primary, but maintained a high level of Democratic voter turnout, with a total of 327 votes.

Maneval said his extensive experience in municipal government and as a business owner gave him a clear experiential edge over Mattson. Maneval, in addition to owning his own business, has also served as a town Select Board member, on town Planning and Zoning Boards, in town emergency management and on the municipal fire department.

“[Mattson] has essentially no experience,” Maneval said. “I have lots of experience in town government and what it takes to make it run. We don’t just want someone who is going up to Concord to make statements along the line of Republican party bullet points, but doesn’t have the experience to get things done. There, I think I have the obvious edge.”

Maneval also stood opposed to Mattson’s stance on issues such as the oncoming rules anticipated to be put into place by OSHA, at the direction of President Joe Biden, to require employers with over 100 employees to require their employees to be vaccinated or to do more rigorous weekly testing.

On Thursday, Mattson joined a protest at MilliporeSigma in Jaffrey, which has adopted mandating vaccines for all employees, ahead of the expected mandate. Maneval said while “no one likes mandates,” he was in support of the measure, because of what he sees COVID-19 continue to do to the status of public health.

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 now the most common, those who have not received the vaccination accounted for more than 90% of reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths in September, according to the Center for Disease Control.

“If more people were vaccinated, businesses could open more, and economic activity could grow. It’s that resistance that’s holding back economic recovery and growth,” Maneval said.

Maneval also touted a need for New Hampshire to get on par with other states when it comes to taking on the fight against climate change.

“New Hampshire isn’t going to solve that problem, but other states are doing things we’re not doing, and we’re lagging far behind,” Maneval said.

Maneval advocated for legislation that would set emission standards, and encourage efforts in renewable energy and conservation.

He also opposed the state’s current voucher system, which allows parents to use state education funds for students outside the public school system, including private or charter schools.

“While there’s certain protections, what the program does is defund public education, in favor of requiring taxpayers to send children to private or religious schools. And I don’t have a problem with that – but I do have a problem with making taxpayers pay for it.”

Maneval also addressed the ongoing issue and hand-in-hand issue of the worker shortage and attracting or keeping young families in the state. It’s a multi-pronged issue, Maneval said.

One issue is housing, particularly in the state’s rural areas.

“It is an issue that the state has to address more generally,” Maneval said, about providing options for affordable or subsidized housing. “There’s a lot of things to do around the margins to improve affordability, but there’s no doubt we’re losing people because of housing. And if you can’t live here, you can’t work here.”

The issue is compounded by the state’s high tuition rates, which are the second-highest in the country.

“If we’re going to have a modern, forward-looking workforce in the next decade and beyond, we have to find a way for our students to not go out to other places for their education or be laden with so much debt they have to go to a place like Boston or New York to pay their student loans,” Maneval said.

Maneval was also in support of raising the state’s minimum wage. He supported a recent measure – ultimately which failed by governor veto – to raise the minimum wage in stages over the several years to $13, but said that ultimately, he’d like to see New Hampshire with a $15 minimum.

The general election for the Cheshire District 9 seat is scheduled for Oct. 26. Elections will be held in Jaffrey from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jaffrey Fire Station. Masks are required in the building, and for those who do not want to wear a mask, voting from your vehicle will be possible. Elections in Dublin are scheduled to be held on the third floor of the Dublin Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Due to mold remediation currently ongoing at the Dublin Town Hall, the location may be subject to change and a final location will be announced this week.


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