By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Two years ago, Republicans captured all 18 seats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives in Belknap County and with two days remaining in the filing period for the November election eight of the incumbent representatives have filed for re-election along with five newcomers, leaving five slots on the ballot still empty.
Valerie Fraser of New Hampton is seeking a second term in District 1, the towns of New Hampton and Center Harbor.
In District 2, where four representatives are elected from Gilford and Meredith, Glen Aldrich of Gilford is running for a second term and Norm Silber, a member of the Gilford Budget Committee, is bidding for his first term. Two spots remain to be filled. The remaining incumbents are Russ Dumais and George Hurt of Gilford and Herb Vadney of Meredith.
Three incumbents — Don Flanders, Frank Tilton and Peter Spanos — have filed for the four seats in District 3, the city of Laconia. The fourth seat was held by the late Bob Luther, who passed away in February.
Incumbent Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, the longest serving member of the delegation, is running again for one of the two seats in District 4, the towns of Sanbornton and Tilton, and is joined on the GOP ticket by John Vorel.
Michael Mahoney of Gilmanton, making his first bid for a House seat, has field for one of the two seats in District 5, the towns of Gilmanton and Alton.
In District 7, the town of Barnstead, former representative Elaine Swinford and Barbara Comtois, the wife of the incumbent Guy Comtois, will vie for the Republican nomination for the one seat .
Ray Howard of Alton, the incumbent, has filed for re-election to the seat in District 8, consisting of the towns of Alton, Barnstead and Gilmanton.
Robert Fisher of Laconia is seeking a second term as the lone representative in District 9, the city of Laconia and town of Belmont.
No Republican candidates have filed in Distict 6, the town of Belmont, which elects two representatives.
Democrats have have filed for election in five of the nine districts.
Former representative Ruth Gulick of New Hampton is bidding to return to the House from District 1.
In District 2 three Democrats from Gilford have filed for the four seats. Lisa DiMartino is seeking to return to the House. Dorothy Piquado who ran unsuccessfully in 2014 is making a second bid and Johan Anderson has also filed.
In District 3, the city of Laconia, five Democrats — Tom Dawson, Tony Felch, David Huot, Liz Merry and Charlie St. Clair — have filed for the four seats.
Former representative Ian Raymond of Sanbornton is running again for one of the two seats in District 4 alongside Rich Burke of Tilton.
Beth Arsenault, who represented Laconia in the House for several terms, is seeking to regain the seat she last held In District 9, which the city shares with the town of Belmont.