By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

NASHUA — Dan Weeks, a local resident and advocate for government accountability, said Monday that he will run for the District 5 seat on the New Hampshire Executive Council.

“I believe the Council should be about the people, and not politics,” said Weeks, a Democrat. “I have become increasingly concerned that the council has been spoiled by partisan politics. The work I have done is trying to move beyond the party by focusing on public service.”

Weeks will take on four-term incumbent Councilor David Wheeler in the election, if Wheeler, a Republican, decides to seek re-election.

Weeks previously worked with political activist Doris “Granny D.” Haddock, a Granite State champion of campaign finance reform. In addition, he once traveled to England to study political theory at Oxford, and formerly served a year with AmeriCorps in Washington, D.C.

The 32-year-old Yale graduate says he has been passionate about good governance and strengthening democracy since his time at ConVal High. Two of his role models include the late Gov. Walter Peterson and the late Executive Councilor Ray Burton.

“I think that I can serve the district as an energetic and enthusiastic young representative,” said Weeks, adding he hopes to run a clean and positive campaign.

To be an effective member of the Executive Council, Weeks said he plans to travel all over the district, attend meetings and be available to listen and speak with constituents.

“I am very committed to practicing a different kind of politics,” said Weeks. “I would like to engage in a robust debate and exchange of ideas, but I promise to listen to every point of view.”

Weeks, a native of Temple, has most recently been serving as executive director of the Coalition for Open Democracy, a nonpartisan political reform organization. However, Weeks stepped down from the role to pursue his campaign for Executive Council.

Since he is running as a Democrat, Weeks said it was appropriate to walk away from his position with Open Democracy — a nonpartisan role.

In his opinion, the Executive Council should be serving as a watchdog by reviewing contracts with open transparency while also appointing individuals that represent the full spectrum of the state, and leaving policy issues to the legislators, said Weeks.

Weeks will officially kick off his campaign this weekend at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Railroad Square.

“I think, in this year especially, we need new politics of bringing people together and looking out for people regardless of where they are or where they came from. I hope that will be the true spirit of public service,” he added.

khoughton@newstote.com