Claremont’s Stone to seek another term as state representative




Valley News correspondent

Published: 06-19-2024 2:32 PM

State Rep. Jon Stone, R-Claremont, who came under scrutiny earlier this year following the public release of disciplinary records that detail vile threats he made against fellow Claremont police officers 18 years ago, has filed to run for a second term in the New Hampshire House representing Sullivan County District 8.

Republican Michael Aron, of Acworth, N.H., who is chairman of the Sullivan County Republicans, will also be on the ballot in the two-seat district that also includes Croydon, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Springfield, Sunapee and Washington.

For Democrats, incumbent Hope Damon of Croydon and Codi Raymond of Claremont have filed to run in District 8. Both Damon and Raymond publicly condemned Stone in April at a City Council after his personnel record revealed he made several threats of violence against fellow officers as well as the chief and his family. He resigned from the department in 2006 under an agreement negotiated with the police union, but the discipline records were released to the public this year after a protracted legal fight by Stone to keep them sealed.

Under pressure from residents, the city council removed Stone from the Claremont Development Authority and the city’s policy committee. Stone narrowly lost his reelection bid to the council last November.

In the only contested primary race in Sullivan County, five Republicans will be on the Sept. 10 ballot for three seats in District 6 (Claremont, Croydon). Luke Diamond, Wayne Hemingway, Tom Luther, Robert Merrill Jr., and Emily Sandblade are all from Claremont. Incumbent Rep. Walt Stapleton, R-Claremont, decided against seeking another term.

Incumbent Rep. John Cloutier, D-Claremont, currently the longest serving member in the House, and incumbent Rep. Gary Merchant, D-Claremont, are running for reelection in District 6 and will be joined on the Democratic ticket by newcomer Dale Girard.

Also in Sullivan County, incumbents Brian Sullivan, D-Grantham (District 1), William Palmer, D-Cornish (District 2), and Linda Tanner, D-Sunapee (District 5), are running again. The Democrats also will have Nikki Murphy of Newport (District 3) and Claudia Istel of Acworth (District 4) on the ballot in November.

Incumbents Skip Rollins, R-Newport, Steve Smith, R-Charlestown, and Walter Spilsbury, R-Charlestown, are running to keep their three seats in District 3 (Charlestown, Newport and Unity). Incumbents Republican Margaret Drye of Plainfield (District 7) and Judy Aron of Acworth (District 4) have also filed.

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For Republicans, Joel T. Hutchins, of Grantham, is running in District 1; Virginia Drye, of Plainfield, who lost in the last election, is running again in District 2; and George Grant, of Sunapee, who also lost his bid in 2022, is running for the District 5 House seat.

In county races, Democrat Christine Hilliard, of Claremont, the current deputy county attorney, is the only candidate from either party to file for county attorney.

Incumbent county attorney Marc Hathaway decided against seeking another term after 38 years in office. Jayson Almstrom, a Cornish Republican, is also the lone candidate to file for sheriff with incumbent John Simonds not seeking reelection.

The two incumbent county commissioners on the November ballot are Joe Osgood, R-Claremont (1st district), and George Hebert, R-Goshen (3rd district). Democrat Benjamin Nelson of Claremont will be on the ballot in the 1st district against Osgood.

The filing period ended last Friday.