State Sen. Sam Cataldo speaks with NH1 News at the State House on May 11, 2016

May 23, 2016 5:38 PM

Cataldo becomes 5th Republican NH state senator not running for re-election

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – State Sen. Sam Cataldo says “I’m tired. I’m taking a break.”

Cataldo's comments came in a conversation with NH1 News Monday as he announced that he wouldn’t run for re-election this year. The 78-year old lawmaker from Rochester became the fifth GOP state senator not seeking another term. Two Democratic state senators are also not running again. Republicans currently control the chamber 14 to 10.

Two weeks ago, in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News, Cataldo said “I was told this morning to run again. And I said there’s no problems with that. I agree.”

Asked who told him to run again, Cataldo answered “the Senate President and the Majority Leader. I agree with them. They were just being very cordial. Cause they hear rumors that I wasn’t going run. As I am running. Period. I will not desert my post. I just can’t do that.”

Cataldo made those comments soon after fellow Republican Fenton Groen, who Cataldo succeeded in the State Senate, decided against seeking his old seat in District 6. But in recent days state Rep. Jim Gray of Rochester expressed interest in making a bid for the state Senate if Cataldo decided against running again. According to sources close to the conversation, the two met and Gray also told Cataldo he wouldn’t run this year if Cataldo campaigned for re-election.

Cataldo told NH1 News on Monday that Gray told him he would run.

“I need to take a break right now,” he added.

But Cataldo said that he isn’t ruling out a future return to politics.

Cataldo, who was first elected to the chamber in 2012, represents the City of Rochester as well as the towns of Alton, Barnstead, Farmington, Gilmanton, and New Durham. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee and sits on both the Executive Departments & Administration and Commerce Committees.

Besides Cataldo, Republican State Sen. Dave Boutin of Hooksett is also retiring from the State House. State Sen. Jeanie Forrester of Meredith is running for governor, state Sen. Russell Prescott of Kingston’s campaigning for the Executive Council, and state Sen. Jerry Little of Weare is stepping down next month to become New Hampshire’s banking commissioner.

State Sens. Molly Kelly of Harrisville and David Pierce of Lebanon are the two Democrats not running for re-election.

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