Senate District 9 race is on; five vie for seat

Three Democrats are hoping to break the GOP lock on state Senate District 9, a seat now held by Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford), one of a long succession of Republicans who have held the seat for decades. Sanborn has filed for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District and can’t keep his senate seat, even if he loses the Congressional primary.

The dragon-shaped district stretches more than 60 miles from Bedford to Richmond, nearly to the Vermont border, and represents 14 towns, including the Souhegan Valley towns of Lyndeborough and Mont Vernon.

Democrats Jeanne Dietsch, Bruce Fox and Mark Fernald will compete in the primary, and the winner will face either Dan Hynes or Terry Wolf, both of Bedford.

Hynes is a one-term conservative House member (Hillsborough-21) who supports business profits tax cuts and opposes Medicaid expansion.

Wolf has represented House District 7 since 2014 and is vice chair of the education committee and last year supported a school voucher-like bill.

On the Democrat side, Dietsch, of Peterborough, narrowly lost the primary race in 2016. A tech entrepreneur, she says she will focus on progressive solutions to revitalizing business and doesn’t like business tax cuts.

Fernald, an attorney from Sharon, favors more funding for mental health and opioid treatment, an increase in the minimum wage, an end to partisan gerrymandering and universal background checks for gun purchases.

Fox has owned and operated The Friendly Farm, in Dublin, for 40 years and served for six years as a Dublin selectman and cemetery trustee and favors Medicaid expansion, paid family leave, support for businesses and some gun control.

Sanborn’s wife, Laurie Sanborn, was expected to run for his senate seat, but instead is seeking her fifth term in the House, District 41, a floterial district in Amherst and Bedford.

Democrat Lisa Nash, of Bedford, will oppose Sanborn in the general election, since neither has a primary opponent.

In addition to Bedford, Lyndeborough, Mont Vernon, Peterborough, Richmond, Sharon and Dublin, senate District 9 also includes Fitzwilliam, Greenfield, Hancock, Jaffrey, New Boston, Temple and Troy.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or