New Hamsphire State Sen. Scott McGilvray dies at age 51
CONCORD – New Hampshire’s top public officials Wednesday marked the death of state Sen. Scott McGilvray.
The first term Democratic state senator from Hooksett and president of the state’s largest teacher’s union, the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association, was 51.
In a statement, Gov. Chris Sununu said “Valerie and I are deeply saddened by the news of Senator McGilvray's passing. He was a dedicated public servant and we send our most sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
Sununu also announced at the start of Wednesday’s Executive Council meeting that state flags would fly at half-staff to mark McGilvray’s passing.
Senate President Chuck Morse wrote in a statement that “Senator McGilvray was well respected within in his community and has touched countless young lives through his dedication to education as well as coaching youth sports.”
Last November McGilvray defeated Republican Joe Duarte to win his first term in the state senate. The seat in District 16 was open, due to the retirement of GOP Sen. David Boutin. McGilvray was the only Democrat to flip a state Senate seat in last November’s elections. Republicans maintained their 14-10 majority in the chamber.
The top Democrat in the Senate, Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, wrote that “Scott’s time in the NH Senate, just as his life, was too brief. He devoted his life to teaching, coaching, and advocating for our children and he left an indelible impression with all he worked with. I was proud to serve with Scott in the New Hampshire Senate and saw firsthand his dedication to the people of his district and the people of New Hampshire.”
“I join with all my Senate colleagues in expressing our deepest sympathies to his family, particularly his wife Patti and his daughters on their loss. New Hampshire has lost a great public servant and I know that Scott’s friends and family will be in all our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Woodburn added.
Executive Councilor Chris Pappas of Manchester, at the start of the council meeting, praised McGilvray, saying “Scott was someone who always spoke up for the little guy."
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley also marked McGilvray’s passing, writing that “McGilvray will be remembered for his deep dedication to education and for the young people and educators whose lives he has impacted so greatly over his 25 years as a social studies teacher and a football coach. He spent his last months serving his state and fighting for the people of New Hampshire and for that we are endlessly grateful. He will be dearly missed."
McGilvray last month took a leave of absence from his position as NEA-NH president due to health problems. He was excused from last Thursday’s state Senate session, where more than 50 bills were voted on by the lawmakers.
Acting NEA-New Hampshire President Megan Tuttle said in a statement that McGilvray “was a tireless advocate for students and educators across the state, dedicating his life fighting to assure every child had the opportunity to succeed. Scott McGilvray made New Hampshire a better place for children.”