One serious Republican candidate for Keene's Ward 4 seat in NH House

·2 min read

Sep. 10—Two men will appear on the ballot for Tuesday's Republican primary for N.H. House in Cheshire County's District 4, which covers Keene's Ward 4. But only one — Thomas Savastano — is a serious candidate.

The other name on the ballot for that district is Matthew Roach, who said he registered as a candidate as something of a lark.

Roach, 46, a former chef who now works in the insurance industry, said he's not really interested in being a state representative.

"It shouldn't be a serious goal of anybody to be a politician," he said. "I would actually hate it to have to drive to Concord all the time."

Savastano, on the other hand, said he is serious about representing the district at the Statehouse.

Savastano, 56, is an ordained minister with experience in nonprofits, social service organizations and small business. He came to Keene seven years ago.

His experience includes working in a Salvation Army program providing support and training for at-risk youth in Massachusetts. He also ran a remodeling company and co-founded a Christian ministry organization called First Love Works.

"I'm passionate about people and our country, and I'm really concerned about inflation and its effects on the elderly and the middle class," Savastano said.

In a letter to the editor in The Sentinel, Savastano said he is committed to civil discourse as modeled by Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill.

But in an interview Friday, Savastano blasted President Joe Biden and the Democratic-controlled Congress, including the New Hampshire congressional delegation, for engaging in what he characterized as "out-of-control spending" that he said resulted in "rampant inflation."

Democratic leaders say this administration and the previous one engaged in emergency spending to address the COVID-19 pandemic. They also say that continuing supply-chain issues and the war in Ukraine contribute greatly to inflation.

Savastano also labeled as a "boondoggle" the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by Biden last month. The $750 billion bill is intended to reduce the cost of prescription medications, health care and energy, while tackling climate change.

Jodi Newell is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination in Cheshire House District 4. The general election is Nov. 8.

Rick Green can be reached at RGreen@KeeneSentinel.com or 603-355-8567