Donovan Fenton wins District 10 state Senate seat

  • Donovan Fenton introduces himself to Bob McKelvey of Swanzey while campaigning outside the Keene Recreation Center Tuesday. HANNAH SCHROEDER/SENTINEL STAFF

The Keene Sentinel
Published: 11/9/2022 9:46:10 AM

Donovan Fenton of Keene is in line for a promotion from being one of 400 lawmakers in the state House of Representatives to being one of 24 members of the New Hampshire Senate.

The 33-year-old Democrat defeated his Republican opponent, Sylvester “Sly” Karasinski, 58, of Swanzey, Tuesday by a nearly two-to-one margin in Senate District 10, which takes in a large swath of the Monadnock region, including Dublin, Hancock and Peterborough.

Fenton won in every town in the district, collecting 17,305 votes to 8,858 for Karasinski.

In an interview Tuesday night, Fenton expressed thanks to voters and volunteers. He said his strong support at the polls showed the issues he spoke about on the campaign trail were meaningful.

“We need to tackle child care, the housing crisis, the environmental crisis; we need to attract young people to the state,” he said. “People are dealing with a lot of things right now, including the high price of electrical bills. New Hampshire is lacking   a renewable-energy portfolio.”

Karasinski said it’s tough for a Republican to win in the heavily Democratic district. His campaign message was one of fiscal conservatism and emphasized his opposition to any new taxes.

“Just having Keene and Peterborough being so liberal, it was a high hill to climb right off the bat,” said Karasinski, a Swanzey selectman and superintendent of the North Swanzey Water & Fire Precinct.

Fenton, vice president of Fenton Family Dealerships in Swanzey, has served three terms in the House. He will succeed state Sen. Jay Kahn, D-Keene, who served three terms in the Senate and opted not to seek a fourth.

With two young boys, Fenton and his wife, Jackie, have experienced first-hand the costliness and lack of availability of child care. He campaigned on the need to make inroads on that issue.

He also said property taxes are too high, which he blames in part on the state pushing more and more costs down to municipalities.

Fenton would like to reverse this trend and says incremental, GOP-led reductions in the interest and dividend tax, which will be repealed entirely by 2027, and in the business profits tax help higher-income earners and companies, while not doing much to assist the average taxpayer.

Fenton also stressed his opposition to school voucher programs, which he said reduce money for traditional public education by using state funding to defray parents’ tuition costs at private schools.

Rick Green can be reached at or 603-355-8567.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit 


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