Weeks to run for executive council

By Ashley Saari, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
March 22, 2016

Temple native and ConVal grad Dan Weeks has thrown his hat in the ring for Executive Council, one of the highest political positions in the state.

The Executive Council plays a big part in the management of the state, approving all personal service contracts above $10,000 and all contracts above $25,000, approving appointments of judges, commissioners, notary public, justices of peace, commissioners of deeds, as well as appointments to various state agencies, boards and commissions. They also serve as a general “watchdog” of the executive branch of government in the state.

Weeks, now living in Nashua, is running for the right to represent District 5, which encompasses a portion of the Monadnock region. The current incumbent to the seat is Republican David Wheeler, who has served in the seat from 2001-2005, 2011-2013, and the current 2015-2017 term.

“There’s no question this will take an energetic campaign,” said Weeks, who is running as a Democrat. “I am giving up my paid work for the next six to eight months to run the kind of campaign it will take to win.”

Weeks said one of his motivations for running for the office is that as a Democrat, he feels unrepresented by Wheeler.

Weeks differs from Wheeler on several key voter-interest issues. Weeks is for the prospect of a rail line into central New Hampshire, which Wheeler opposes as too expensive to build, and New Hampshire having too low a population density to support. Weeks sees it as a vital piece of New Hampshire’s economic future.

Both candidates oppose the prospect of a Kinder Morgan natural gas pipe coming through New Hampshire, but Weeks said he is overall more open to renewable energy projects than Wheeler, who has been in favor of rolling back the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Weeks is also in favor of continuing Medicaid expansion, a prospect that has become a divisive one in the statehouse as federal funding of the program is slowly being rolled back, putting more of the cost on state taxpayers. Weeks said that the program, which provides assistance in gaining treatment for drug addiction, among other benefits, is crucial to fighting the state’s opioid problem.

“I want to be the candidate that returns every call, listens to every constituent, whether their party is the same as minor or not. My work has always been non-partisan. I’ve always worked both sides and plan to continue that way,” said Weeks.

Weeks will be in the Mondanock region this week, and will have his first house party in Hancock on Friday, April 8th. Check www.danielweeks.com for more events or to RSVP.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.