Sep 8, 2015 12:11 PM
Landrigan: Competitive preliminary elections in Nashua held Tuesday to determine mayoral finalists
NASHUA - Gate City voters will whittle down the final choice tonight for mayor to replace the retiring Donnalee Lozeau.
Turnout was low throughout the day as voters pick the two finalists who will face off this November.
Ending a decade of sluggish economic growth and keeping young people from leaving the city are top priorities for the next chief executive.
The office is non-partisan but this preliminary election has a political feel to it due to the makeup of the candidates and the involvement of political parties.
Former Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, 65, is the only, identifiable Democrat in the field and as such as been the subject of fund-raising emails by prominent Democrats on his behalf.
The top three other candidates - Aldermen-at-Large David Deane and Dan Moriarty along with ex-Nashua Chamber President and CEO Chris Williams - are all Republicans who have had varying experiences in past campaigns.
The two least known candidates are Nashua businessman Mike Broderick and former State Rep. Doug Carroll.
Most political observers believe Donchess, as the ex-mayor and citywide alderman, is most likely to make the final cut along with one of the three Republicans - Williams, Moriarty or Deane.
Donchess said keeping property taxes down will be a chief challenge for the next mayor particularly in a city that has not had much growth in taxable property over the past decade.
Moriarty said his top priority is to identify better-paying jobs for the working poor to fill. He called it "unacceptable’’ that half of the city’s public school children qualify for free or reduced school lunches.