Boutin files bid for old seat; tells NH1 News 'we know what we need to do'
CONCORD – Former state Sen. David Boutin was back at the Statehouse on Thursday, filing his candidacy for his old seat in District 16.
The special election battle for the vacant state Senate seat may be a barometer for next year's Statehouse showdowns.
The Republican from Hooksett signed paperwork at the Secretary of State’s office to run in the special election for the seat, which became vacant with the death last month of Democratic state Sen. Scott McGilvray.
Speaking with NH1 News before he filed, Boutin said “I received a number of phone calls” urging him to run for the seat he retired from at the end of last year.
Boutin said that GOP leadership in the state Senate and the state party “were supportive of the idea” of him running again. After filing, Boutin met with state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, who took to Twitter to re-tweet an NH1 News tweet on Boutin’s filing.
Boutin served as a Hooksett town councilor and five years as a state representative before winning election to the state Senate. He decided last year against running for re-election. In last November’s election McGilvray narrowly defeated GOP nominee Joe Duarte. It was the only Republican held seat the Democrats were able to flip. The GOP currently controls the chamber 14-9, with the District 16 seat vacant.
No other Republicans have yet to file. The filing period ends Friday at 5pm. The convention wisdom was that former one-term state Rep. Jane Cormier, who primary challenged Boutin in 2014, was considering a run in the special election. Primaries are scheduled for June 6, with the general election on July 25.
Two Democrats are running for the seat. Former Executive Councilor and Manchester lawyer Jim Normand filed on Monday. Kevin Cavanaugh, who currently serves as a Manchester Ward 1 alderman, is expected to file on Friday.
A libertarian candidate, Jason Dubrow, also filed on Monday.
Boutin has around $40,000 leftover in his campaign coffers from past elections. And his team tells NH1 News he’s already got $25,000 in commitments for an April 25 fundraiser in Bow.
Asked what his campaign strategy will be in likely low turnout special election, Boutin told NH1 News “this will be my third special election. I’ve been around the rodeo a couple of times. We know what we need to do which is to get the voters” to the polls, “and that’s what we’ll be focusing on.”
Boutin highlighted that his political philosophy is “less taxes, smaller government, and less regulation.”
He said that he’s excited to get “re-engaged” on such issues he’s championed in the past, such as fighting for child protection, battling the drug epidemic and the mental health crisis, and protecting the tax payers.
Among those serving as campaign co-chairs are Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and former Manchester mayor and former executive councilor Ray Wieczorek. District 24 State Sen. Dan Innis, who’s also supporting Boutin, was with the candidate minutes before he filed. Republican operative and strategist Periklis Karoutas, who’s advised Boutin on all of his state Senate campaigns, is advising him again.
The district, which includes Dunbarton, Bow,Hooksett, Candia, and Wards 1, 2, and 12 in Manchester, is considered competitive in general elections.