Dan Weeks Shows Strong Grassroots Support In Filing For Executive Council

Weeks endorsed by bipartisan leaders at Nashua rally and Concord filing event

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NASHUA, NH - On Thursday, June 9, 2016, good-government crusader Dan Weeks officially entered the race for Executive Council by collecting 679 signed petitions from registered voters across District 5 – 13 times the required count and well above the campaign's goal of 500 petitions. Weeks and over 75 supporters gathered at the State House in Concord and Nashua’s historic Railroad Square to mark the milestone achievement, a first on record according to the NH Secretary of State.

“I consider it an immense honor to appear on the ballot and be considered by my fellow citizens for our state’s highest governing body," said Dan Weeks, a 12th generation Granite Stater and former Executive Director of the nonpartisan grassroots organization Open Democracy. "We set out to earn, not buy, that honor by collecting at least 500 petitions from voters in every District 5 town, and hearing the concerns of ordinary people in the process. I'm proud that we far exceeded that goal, with help from countless volunteers.”

Weeks was joined at the Nashua rally by three of the campaign's five honorary Co-Chairs, Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, former Executive Councilor Debora Pignatelli of Nashua, and former State Senator Jim Squires, a Hollis Republican. Campaign co-chairs John Broderick, former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and Dorothy Peterson, widow of the late Republican Governor Walter Peterson of Peterborough, could not attend in person but issued their endorsements.

“With at least two vacancies likely on the New Hampshire Supreme Court in the next two years it is important to elect Executive Councilors who will vote on the Governor's replacement nominees in a thoughtful, fair, capable and non-ideological manner,” Broderick said. “Dan Weeks clearly passes that test. I have every confidence he will perform this critical role of a Councilor with distinction.”

Former Congressman Paul Hodes, who represented the entirety of District 5 in the U.S. House from 2006-2010, also issued his endorsement. “I've was impressed by Dan Weeks from our first meeting,” Hodes said. “He cares about people, he's committed to doing the most good he can and he will bring extraordinary personal qualities to his public service. New Hampshire is fortunate to have Dan running for office. He gives politics a good name!”

Other local leaders endorsing Dan at the rally included State Senator Bette Lasky of Nashua, businessman Jim Moskun of Hollis, and inventor Chris Harrises of Nashua.

Supporters at both the Nashua rally and Concord filing event waved campaign signs and unfurled a 30-foot rail-themed banner to highlight Weeks’ support for the Capitol Corridor rail project and the over 5,600 full time middle class jobs it would bring to New Hampshire. In addition to commuter rail, Weeks referenced renewable energy, women’s health, government transparency, and Medicaid expansion as critical differences between himself and his presumed Republican opponent, incumbent Executive Councilor David Wheeler. No other Democratic candidate has filed to run for Executive Council in District 5.

The Weeks campaign’s #DanOnBallot petition initiative, launched in May, took the candidate and dozens of volunteers into all 33 towns in District 5 to speak with registered voters about the issues that concern them in this election. Volunteers joined Dan knocking doors, attending community events, conducting service projects, and standing outside shopping centers to hear from fellow citizens and invite their support.

“Since my student days at ConVal High School here in District 5, I have made it my mission to educate and engage fellow citizens in the democratic process, especially young and low-income people who feel alienated from politics," Weeks said. "Like the service projects and community conversations we are holding across the district, this petition drive challenged us to 'walk the talk' and build a people-powered campaign."

Under state law (RSA 655), candidates for New Hampshire's second-highest state office must qualify to appear on the primary ballot either by paying a $25 fee to the Secretary of State or submitting ballot petitions from 50 registered voters in the district. According to the Secretary of State's office, there are no other reported cases of Executive Council or other statewide candidates mounting large-scale petition campaigns when they are permitted to write a check.