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Oct 23, 2015 4:47 PM

Landrigan: Fiesty Nashua mayoral race faces debate giving voters the clear, contrasting choice


NASHUA - The two men who want to replace outgoing Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau could not be more different.

Chris Williams, 43, former chamber CEO, rising Republican who’s never been elected to anything.

Jim Donchess, 65, current alderman mayor during Ronald Reagan days, failed candidate for Senate and Congress.

During a feisty debate this week each tried to take the other down.

"There’s never been anyone elected mayor who’s never served in any way in city government on the board of alderman, in the Legislature, on the Executive Council," Donchess says of Williams.

Williams says the time for professional pols like Donchess is over.

"I also think we’ve done the same thing for too long. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results," Williams counters.

Further, Williams says Donchess is a relic of the past.

"The issues facing Nashua today are very different than the issues facing Nashua 30 years ago," Williams fires back.

Donchess tries to turn his senior status from a weakness to an asset.

"To all the voters in this city who are more than 40. Look at your own selves. Aren’t you wiser than you were at 35 which was my age when I was elected mayor," Donchess asks rhetorically.

Nashua residents can’t afford a return to taxes under Donchess, Williams says.

"During his last term as mayor the average tax rate increase was 9.8 percent. Just think for a minute to let that sink in," Williams charges.

Donchess fires back Williams is a fraud on pledging to live within the city’s tight cap on spending.

"In a private questionnaire he wrote quote I will ask the aldermen to work with me on a budget that overrides the spending cap," Donchess says.

As for Williams, he says this was only a worst-case scenario he wrote and vowed to keep any spending hike to a bare minimum.

Voters settle this grudge match Nov. 3.


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