FROM OUR PRINTED AUGUST 1, 2020 EDITION
by Mark Alliegro
Candidate for State Representative
I am a candidate for the State House to represent Grafton County District 7 (Campton) in Concord. I became convinced it was necessary to run for office after attending town meeting on March 11. That night, I witnessed one of the boldest displays of condescension I have ever seen. An article came up for discussion that dealt with climate change. Courtesy and respect are the focus of this story, and not the details of the article itself.
A number of Campton citizens, including myself, got in line to speak against the article. As we headed for the microphone line, rude chuckles went up from several attendees. At least one person rose abruptly and walked out of the room. Another individual maintained a particularly arrogant grin as we spoke in turn. Without knowing who he was at the time, I challenged him and anyone else in the room to a public debate on the subject. Of course, none accepted the challenge — debating a career scientist on the facts apparently did not appeal to them. I later learned that the arrogant grin belonged to our current state representative. It was that display of condescension by an elected official that convinced me I should run for office. Is this what being a “representative” means these days? Not to me — I will consider it a privilege to represent our District in Concord, and replace condescension and arrogance with courtesy and respect, even when in disagreement.
There is another reason I am writing today. I recently received a letter from an associate of this sitting state rep. It sprung directly from that town meeting and was a lengthy homework assignment with at least twelve questions and a request for multiple references. I was to answer in writing. Anyone who would like to read this letter and my immediate reply may request copies by telephone or e-mail (contact information is available at
AlliegroCampaign.org). Written below is my full response and I think it is a much more open and honest course of action:
The residents of Campton are entitled to know where I stand on any issue affecting them. I am therefore offering, openly and for the second time, to discuss the topic of climate change with my opponent. I propose a traditional debate — without an interloping moderator to frame the questions and lob softballs to one side or the other. In this way our friendly letter writer’s questions can be answered for all to hear, with no filters, and from both candidates. I stand ready to work out the details and assist with arrangements. Hopefully, I will soon let your readers know that the challenge has been accepted. ♦