Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig speaks at Francestown Democratic brunch

  • From left, Susan Kane, Fenia Groh, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Theo Groh.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS 

  • Local residents at the Francestown Democrats event for gubernatorial candidate Mayor Joyce Craig of Manchester.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

  • Francestown Democrats and members of the public at Francestown Town Hall on Sunday.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS 

  • The Penniless Jacks provide music at Sunday’s event.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

  • Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 
Published: 11/20/2023 12:02:58 PM

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, a Democratic candidate for governor, spoke at a brunch organized by Francestown Democrats Sunday at Francestown Town Hall, addressing local concerns on  inflation, housing, education, day care and civility in politics. 

Craig, a Manchester native, was the first woman to be elected mayor of New Hampshire’s largest city, and has served as mayor since 2017. She previously served as chair of the Manchester School Board and on the city’s board of mayor and  aldermen, representing District 1. Craig announced in March that she will not seek a fourth term as mayor, and in July, announced she was running for governor. She is running for the Democratic nomination against Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, whose district includes Dublin, Hancock, Peterborough and Sharon.

Craig responded to questions from audience about the cost of higher education. 

“Keeping young people in the state is a major priority for New Hampshire. UNH has the highest tuition in the country, and young people are leaving the state in droves and they’re not coming back. We have developed a pilot program to help young people work with institutions of higher learning, including SNHU, to help them pay for their own education,” Craig said. 

Francestown Democrats organizer Sue Jonas was happy with the turnout at the event, which filled the second floor of the Francestown Town Hall. The Democrats provided quiche, sandwiches, doughnuts and coffee to the crowd. The Penniless Jacks, a Renaissance-themed band, provided live music, and a “pirate fun” corner kept the youngest visitors entertained. 

Theo Groh, a young dad accompanied by his infant daughter, asked about the state’s lack of day care. Joyce responded that her own family had experienced the challenges with child care.

“When my second child was born, our day care was not accepting new children, so my husband had to drop them off at two separate day care centers. This is a serious issue facing New Hampshire families, and it’s a real burden for people,” Craig said. 

Craig’s campaign for governor cites her track record in investing in public schools, growing  economic development in Manchester, increasing safety on Manchester’s streets and supporting the development of new housing.  

Susan Kane, an Air Force veteran and management consultant who is running for state representative for District 27, which includes Francestown and Deering,  spoke after Craig.

“We need to speak up and let people know there is hope,” Kane said. “We need to not lot nonsense go unanswered. It’s not about arguing, not about conflict and ugliness, but it’s about answering, about being heard. When we speak up, really good things can happen.  We need to ask ourselves as Democrats, ‘How did our party lose people who for years and years voted Democratic? How did we lose blue-collar workers?’ It’s because we had leadership that stopped listening to rural America, stopped listening to blue-collar workers and veterans. We need to listen now; we need to find common ground.”

Jeanne Dietsch, a former state senator from Peterborough, spoke about her recent publication, “New Hampshire: Battleground in the Fight to Dismantle Democracy: A Wake Up Call For Granite Staters and the Nation.” The book is available on Amazon. 

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