By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – The announcement by Republican District 1 state Sen. Erin Hennessey of Littleton to not seek re-election has set off a North Country political scramble with so far three candidates vying for the seat.
While there is still time for more people to enter the race, with the filing deadline of June 10, it appears there will be at least a primary race on the Republican side.
Hennessey, a former state representative, surprised some when she announced she would be stepping aside to spend more time with her growing children.
Quickly announcing she would seek the seat and receiving Hennessey’s endorsement was Littleton Selectwoman Carrie Gendreau, a Republican.
She will face state Rep. Troy Merner, R-Lancaster in the primary.
On the Democratic side, state Rep. Edith Tucker, D-Randolph, has also thrown her hat in the ring and is currently unchallenged in the September primary.
Gendreau was a professor of business and a former business owner in Littleton.
Merner has served on the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee and has been involved in sponsoring a number of bills focused on the low-grade wood market and wood products industry which is particularly important to the North Country.
Tucker has been a long-time North Country journalist who won the election in 2016 serving the residents of Randolph, Carroll, Jefferson, and Whitefield. She is now stepping aside from her reporting duties to focus on politics.
Recently, her Coos District 5 was redistricted but is under a court challenge. The Republican map would place her home in Randolph in District 6 instead of District 5.
Tucker has sponsored 10 bills this session including one relative to solid waste landfill sitings, which has passed, along with a measure related to providing a fund for dash cameras for Public Works employees.
She has also been active in efforts to reopen the former Balsams Resort in Dixville.
Four of her bills have died, including one to study rooms and meals tax distribution to municipalities and another related to recycling while three have gone to study including one related to surface water quality standards related to PFAS.
Tucker serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Hennessey won the seat previously held by Republican David Starr whom she defeated in the primary in 2020.
She defeated Democrat Susan Ford in the general election.
Hennessey has served this term on the Senate Capital Budget Overview Committee, Senate Education Committee, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Ways and Means Committee and the
Legislative Performance Audit and Oversight Committee.