Milford’s Wheeler and Daniels ready for November election

MILFORD – Longtime Milford office-holders Gary Daniels and David Wheeler won their Republican primary elections on Sept. 9 and will be facing Democratic challengers in the November election.

Wheeler is going after the executive council seat of Debora Pignatelli, who did not seek re-election. He has been the District 5 councilor as well as a state senator and won the Sept. 9 primary by a vote of roughly 2-1 over Nashua anesthesiologist Steve Hattamer.

His Democrat opponent will be Nashua Alderman-at-Large Diane Sheehan and a big issue will be bringing commuter rail to Nashua up from Boston.

Sheehan and other city officials were frustrated two years ago when Wheeler cast the council’s deciding vote to not accept federal money to study rail’s feasibility and declined to discuss it with them.

Executive Council District 5 covers Nashua and 32 towns including Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Lyndeborough, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, and Wilton.

Daniels, who served as a state representative from 1996 to 2000 and then again in 2006 to 2014, is trying to replace former state senator Peter Bragdon, who resigned at the end of the last senate session. Daniels ran unsuccessfully for the Republican state senate nomination in 2000 and 2002.

His Democratic opponent will be Roger Tilton of Milford.

Daniels was the highest vote-getter in a four-way primary race for state senate District 11, winning over his strongest challenger state Rep. Maureen Mooney of Merrimack by a vote of 2,126 to 1.682. Mooney garnered twice as many votes than Daniels in Merrimack, but Daniels received more than three times her tally in Milford. He did not do as well in Amherst, getting 548 votes to Mooney’s 466.

In a rare Democratic primary in Milford,
District 23, Make Linn was the loser in a five-way race for four seats. Incumbent Ruth Heden joins Elise deMichael, Dorothy Lindon and Herb Salmon on the ballot.

Those four Democrats will face Barbara Biggie, Carolyn Halstead, Bill Goulette and Shawn Sweeney in November.

In Amherst, District 22, Nate Jensen lost in the four-way race for three seats. Incumbents Stephen Stepanek, Peter Hansen and Robert Rowe will run against Democrat incumbent Shannon Chandley, Julie Radhakrishna and John G. David.

There were no contests in the floterial districts.

Amherst is in a floterial with Bedford, District 41. On their November ballots will be Laurie Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, who won against Len Gerzon, of Amherst. Sanborn will run against John Shonle, of Amherst.

In District 38 (Lyndeborough, Wilton and eight other towns) Democrats Ricard McNamara and Steve Hahn will run against GOP candidates Jim Kofalt and Frank Edelbut.

In the District 40 floterial (Hollis, Milford, Mont Vernon and New Boston) Keith Ammon will face Henry Mullaney. They are both from New Boston.

In House District 5 (Mont Vernon and New Boston) incumbent William O’Brien and newcomer William Sanborn Foster will face Democrats David Woodbury and Albert LaChance.

In House District 4 (Greenville, Francestown, Wilton and Lyndeborough) there were no primary contests, and Republicans Katie Schwanke and Donald Sawin will face Democrat incumbent Kermit Williams and Carol Roberts.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at or 673-3100, ext. 304.