Bragdon takes Senate race over Dwyer

Friday, September 14, 2012


Staff Writer

MERRIMACK – State Senate President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, easily defeated his Republican opponent in Tuesday’s primary election.

Merrimack Town Councilor Dan Dwyer threw his hat into the ring to challenge the incumbent, who has held the District 9 state Senate seat since 2004. The newly reconfigured district now encompasses Merrimack, Milford, Amherst and Wilton.

Unofficial election results show Bragdon garnering 2,965 votes over Dwyer’s 1,853 from all four towns. The Senate president took three of the four municipalities.

“It looks like we won, fell behind a bit in Merrimack, which makes sense because it’s Dan Dwyer’s hometown, but made up the difference in Amherst and Milford,” Bragdon said Tuesday after the results came in.

There is no Democratic challenger in District 11 for the Nov. 6 General Election.
The Senate president lives in Milford and is the former president of Achieve! Technology, based in Amherst, taught high school math and published a local newspaper. He also has served on the Milford School Board for 16 years.

Dwyer is the co-owner of Silver Chariot, a limousine service he helped found five years ago. This was his first bid for state Senate, but served one term in the state House of Representatives for Manchester while he attended college 26 years ago. Dwyer also served on the Merrimack Flood Relief Team and Economic Development Commission, and also helped organize the annual Merrimack Fall Festival and Business Expo.

Dwyer led Bragdon in Merrimack, 1,272-900. In Milford, Bragdon had a large margin of votes, 843, to Dwyer’s 283. It was nearly the same story in Amherst where 942 votes came in for Bragdon and Dwyer garnering 235. Wilton was the last town to report its results with Bragdon overcoming Dwyer, 280-64.

According to Bragdon, his win is validation that the people he represents believe he is doing a good job. He said he looks forward to meeting, working with and representing his new constituents in Merrimack.

When Bragdon met with the Merrimack Town Council last month, he was asked what he would do about toll relief in the town, a subject near and dear to the hearts of residents.

Bragdon said the challenge lies in convincing other senators that this is an important issue to Merrimack residents. He also said that it would be important for him to use the relationships in the Senate he has built over the past eight years to address the tolls.

“It’s a matter of fairness, and it’s not complaining,” Bragdon said about the desire to eliminate the tolls.

Leading up to the primary race, Bragdon said his previous actions in the state Senate will help him win.

“I am running on my record, I’m pro-life, pro-Second Amendment,” Bragdon said. “I think the record will show I do a very good job.”

Dwyer’s mantra throughout his senate campaign was to say no to the fat cats. He accused Bragdon of taking tens of thousands of dollars in special interest money. Bragdon said the money he has taken was to finance his campaign through a number of supporters he has met during his time in the Senate.

Dwyer could not be reached for comment about the election before press time.

Erin Place can be reached at 594-6589 or Also, follow Place on Twitter (@Telegraph_

NOTICE: We use the Facebook commenting system. For more information, read our Comment Policy

Find us on Facebook