MANCHESTER — State Democrats believe that Maureen Raiche Manning of Manchester can play a major role in restoring them to a majority in the state Senate.
At a minimum, they believe the veteran attorney and long-time party activist has a strong chance of picking up the seat now held by Republican Sen. David Boutin of Hooksett — who faces a tough party primary from conservative Rep. Jane Cormier also of Hooksett — and securing a 12-12 tie in a Senate. Republicans now hold a slim, 13-11 majority.
Just more than a week after a group of high-powered Democrats launched a “Draft Maureen Raiche Manning Committee” to lay the groundwork for a run, she made it official today that she is a candidate.
In order to appear on the November general election ballot Raiche Manning will have to receive at least 35 write in votes or one more than any other Democrat who may also attempt a write-in. She is expected to reach that requirement easily.
Raiche Manning, 52, is a well-known attorney at the law office of Manning and Zimmerman PLLC. She is the daughter of attorney Robert Raiche Sr. and is married to Donald Manning, a member of the state Ballot Law Commission and a former 17-year staffer with the House Democratic Office and House Chief of Staff from 2006 to 2010.
“I have truly been humbled by the outpouring of support of citizens across the District 16 communities urging me to run for the State Senate,” said Manning in a statement. “I am running for the State Senate to work across party lines to keep New Hampshire’s economy moving forward, fight tirelessly to expand opportunity for middle class families, and solve problems by bringing people together.”
Raiche Manning is a lifelong resident of Manchester who was elected to the New Hampshire House at age 19 and remains the youngest woman ever elected to a seat in the state Legislature.
She has owned and operated the Manning and Zimmerman law firm for more than 20 years and is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and its law school.
“I am looking forward to listening to the citizens in every corner of Senate District 16 to hear about their priorities for how we can continue working together to move New Hampshire in the right direction,” said Manning.
Manning was appointed by then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen to serve as on the state Human Rights Commission. She is a founding member of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association and served as its first President. She also has served on the Board of Governors of the New Hampshire Bar Association and the New Hampshire Bar Foundation.
As an attorney she focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, wrongful death and Social Security disability cases, according to her firm’s web site.
As the New Hampshire Journal has previously reported, Democratic sources say District 16 has been a swing district for the top of the ticket and say that Democrats have come close to winning the seat in the past.
In 2012, a Democratic year statewide, Boutin defeated Democrat Kathleen Kelley Arnold, 13,876 to 13,480. In 2010, a Republican year, Boutin defeated Arnold 11,678 to 8,500.
While the former Republican state senator, current Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, won easily over Democrat Bob Backus in 2008, two years earlier it was a closer election, with Gatsas winning by about 300 votes out of about 18,000 votes cast.
District 16 includes Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Manchester Wards 1, 2 and 12.