Residents of Plaistow, Hampstead and Kingston will decide today which Republican candidate will be on the ballot in January for the District 8 House seat left vacant after Rep. Don Van Patten, R-Hampstead, resigned in October.
Ken Weyler of Kingston and George Melvin of Plaistow are the two Republican hopefuls. The winner of today's primary will face off against Democrat Norman Hurley of Kingston in the special election Jan. 12.
Van Patten resigned because he said a change in his employment caused him to miss hearings in Concord. His term expires in 2011.
Weyler, 68, served 10 terms in the House, but failed in his re-election bid last year by a narrow margin. Melvin, 66, is a former official in Plaistow.
Weyler spent the majority of his 19 years in the House on the Finance Committee. During that time, Weyler said he learned a lot by reviewing state budgets and could trim them without seriously affecting services.
Melvin said he has experience working with tax issues at the local level.
Minimizing tax increases for the elderly and veterans is an issue that Melvin said has been important to him since his time in town government. He served six years each as a Plaistow selectman and Planning Board member.
Melvin said he decided to run to make sure Plaistow is fairly represented in Concord.
District 8 has seven representatives, but Plaistow, the largest community in the district, only has one.
Residents in Hampstead can vote at Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting in Plaistow will be at the library from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Kingston residents can vote at Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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