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Jun 6, 2016 12:03 PM

Only on NH1 News: Volinsky files candidacy for Executive Council seat

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – Andru Volinsky says “it’s a big step for me.”

Volinsky, one of the top labor and commercial lawyers in New Hampshire, was talking about his filing for candidacy in the race for the district two Executive Council seat.

Surrounded by friends and family, Volinsky formally became a candidate on Monday morning, as he filed his paperwork at the Secretary of State’s office in the State House.

The Concord resident (who biked to the State House for Monday’s filing) and general counsel at the Bernstein Shur law firm in Manchester has long been a Democratic party activist, but this is his first run for elective office.

Volinsky, who as a 30-year old successfully argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, is best known in the Granite State as the lead attorney for the victorious plaintiff school districts in the historic Claremont school district funding lawsuit two decades ago. He’s currently representing Dover in that city’s lawsuit against New Hampshire over the state’s cap on adequacy money to school districts.

“It’s a real change coming from the outside as someone who’s sued the state in the Claremont case and other cases to actually running for office and becoming part of the board of directors that will help lead the state. It’s a big deal and I’m real excited about it,” Volinsky told NH1 News minutes after filing.

Asked what his priorities would be, Volinsky said “restoring funding for Planned Parenthood is one. Drawing judged from broad diverse backgrounds is another. Getting commuter rail in the 10 year transportation plan is yet another. Making the whole process more transparent and efficient is a big deal. I’m hearing a lot about contractors going through slow processes to get approved and that’s just not good for business. We’re going to see the state and the Executive Council as job creators, we need to move quickly.”

The district two seat on the Executive Council is currently held by Democrat Colin Van Ostern, who is running for governor. Besides Volinsky, former district two councilor John Shea is also running for his old seat.

The district is considered a safe Democratic seat, with the winner of the primary considered the strong favorite to win November’s general election.

Volinsky headed to Philadelphia for convention

Volinsky was also a top member of the legal team for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in New Hampshire during the primary season. And he’s a pledged delegate for the Vermont senator at next month’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee, Sanders has won many of the primaries and caucuses held the past couple of months, and vows to fight on all the way to the convention.

“I think there’s a lot of room for very direct and frank discussion at the convention. We’ll have everyone together. It’s not a coronation. I expect that the Secretary’s forces will be there and she may ultimately be the nominee and if that’s the case I will absolutely support her. But we have a lot to talk about and no one should foreclose that discussion,” Volinsky told NH1 News.

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