Mar 8, 2016 5:48 PM

First on NH1 News: Details on Hassan-Gatsas heroin crisis meeting

MANCHESTER – Gov. Maggie Hassan and Mayor Ted Gatsas met Tuesday afternoon at City Hall in Manchester to discuss New Hampshire’s acute heroin epidemic.

The meeting came one week after Hassan and Gatsas clashed over the mayor’s request for the governor to declare a public health state of emergency in response to the opioid crisis.

Hassan spokesman William Hinkle told NH1 News that the meeting focused on the heroin crisis, on increasing treatment for victims, and on how the city of Manchester’s efforts can complement what’s being done on the state and federal level.

Sixty people in Manchester overdosed last month, according to the American Medical Response (AMR), with a record 14 fatalities.

Gatsas has also expressed his frustration that the governor has yet to nominate a successor for the vacant “Drug Czar” position, which has been unfilled since Jack Wozmak stepped down on February 1.

The meeting comes as speculation rises that Gatsas will launch a bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Gatsas told NH1 News last month that he would probably launch an exploratory committee in the near future. Hassan is challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte this year instead of running for a third term in the Corner Office.

NH1 News Political Director Paul Steinhauser and NH1 News Reporter Colleen Shaughnessy contributed to this report

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