GOP hopeful blames defeat on gun fliers

An Amherst Republican says fliers put out by fellow Republicans in Milford might have cost him a spot on the November ballot.

Brad Galinson said a mailer implying that only the Republicans from Milford would protect gun rights hurt his campaign.

“I’m not happy about it,” Brad Galinson said Tuesday. “I’m the one who suffered.”

Galinson, an Amherst selectman, was one of 11 Republicans on Tuesday’s primary ballot who are seeking eight seats this November. He finished 43 votes behind Milford’s Michael Sroka, who took the eighth and final slot on the ballot.

Galinson said his impression is that Milford voters seemed to stick with their local candidates while Amherst voters looked at the ticket as a whole. The two towns had separate state representative districts until 2002.

Galinson said the mailer was sent out by state Rep. Gary Daniels, a Milford Republican, but Daniels denied it. Daniels said one mailer he sent was a profile on his positions and the other was about how a gun rights group gave the four Milford candidates an A rating.

The flier was put out by the four Milford candidates – Daniels, Stephen Palmer, Sroka and Bob Willette – but Galinson said Daniels organized it.

The mailing said that the Milford candidates would protect firearm rights.

On Tuesday, Galinson finished sixth in Amherst but was 10th in Milford out of 11 GOP candidates. When the totals from the two towns were added together, he came up short.

But Galinson said there were other factors in Milford, including a lack of name recognition.

Still, he said he would support any Republican who won election.

N.H. Campaigns 2008 – Voter’s Guide

Galinson was on the November ballot two years ago and lost to Democrat Peter Leishman.

Galinson wasn’t the only Amherst Republican irked by last-minute mailers. Rep. Peter Bergin said he and fellow Amherst incumbent Cynthia Dokmo clinched a seat on the ticket despite the mailers.

“I’ve always subscribed to the big tent, and when this happens it’s not healthy for the Republican Party,” said Bergin. “I’m glad I survived. Fortunately with the Internet and e-mails, we were able to react.”

A flier from the Reagan Republican Victory Fund stated that Dokmo and Bergin don’t vote according to Republican values and the New Hampshire Constitution, but that Daniels and Amherst Rep. Robert Rowe vote in accordance nearly all of the time.

Self-described “conservative political activist” Sam Pimm, of Concord, authored the letter citing Dokmo’s and Bergin’s records. He confirmed that he is not part of the Daniels campaign.

“Some people look at the stuff I’m doing as divisive, but I don’t look at it that way,” said Pimm. “I’m informing the voters.”

Milford Republican Committee Chairman Stephen Borostyan said fliers like the one from Pimm did not come from the committee, which will only endorse candidates after the primary. He said he didn’t think attack mailers came from Milford candidates, either.

And Daniels said Pimm was not a part of his campaign.

The Republicans hold seven of the eight Milford-Amherst seats. They will field a slate of Robert Rowe, Cynthia Dokmo, Peter Bergin and Bill Belvin from Amherst, plus Daniels, Palmer, Sroka and Willette from Milford.

Democrats on the ballot are Shannon Chandley, Len Gerzon, John Meodolusky, David Micciche, Nan Stearns and Peter Stearns from Amherst, and Milli Knudsen and Roger Tilton from Milford.

Nine Democrats had sought the eight spots on the ballot – Merv Newton of Milford, a surprise addition to the Democratic field because he has long been associated with conservative political causes, came in last and will not be on the ballot.