The collection of 18 Letters to the Keene Sentinel in support of Jay Kahn for Senate:
Finally, the New Hampshire Democratic primary draws near!
The race for the District 10 Senate seat has allowed the candidates the opportunity to meet with the residents, participate in public forums and elaborate on their positions in the newspaper.
As a Keene city councilor, and chairman of the finance committee, I have had the unique opportunity to work closely with two of the candidates, Jay Kahn and Kris Roberts, both of whom are/were on my committee.
What sets Jay Kahn apart is his incredible ability to analyze concepts, numbers, budgets and come up with very creative approaches that accomplish goals, while saving the taxpayers money. This is far more than just remembering numbers and being able to add quickly.
Jay is a very fast learner. Other councilors and I have been amazed by Jay as we worked through the city budget. He understands complex financial statements, has the ability to converse with the accounting staff and translate the concepts for the other city councilors. He then worked with his fellow councilors to reach consensus. Jay has shown that he is not afraid to stand alone and present a different approach. This does not mean that he is rigid, and will not listen to differing ideas.
As much as I am thrilled to endorse Jay Kahn for state Senate, I will miss his valuable contributions to Keene City Council. I look forward to this region receiving the diligent, effective representation that we deserve when Jay is in the state Senate.
Please remember to vote for Jay Kahn for N.H. Senate in the Democratic primary on Sept. 13.
98 Peg Shop Road
Jay Kahn has the background and experience to be a great senator from District 10. He will be a strong advocate for public education, business, health care and improved infrastructure.
For years Jay has worked to strengthen educational opportunities from pre-school to college. He has been involved in programs such as SPARK–NH (early childhood education) and helped set up after-school programs in Marlborough and Winchester. He worked at Keene State College for 28 years, as vice president of finance and one year as interim president. He knows the challenges families face in financing a college education. Also, through his work there he has seen the need for innovative and relevant workforce training.
Part of what businesses need is better broadband. Jay helped create MonadNet, the first Internet service provider in the Monadnock Region. As senator he can advocate for ways to improve Internet speed and coverage in our state. Jay also understands that businesses need a modernized energy system statewide, one that includes more support of energy efficiency and the development of more renewable energy.
In the field of health care Jay supports Medicaid expansion, Planned Parenthood and better ways to help those struggling with substance abuse. He has specific ideas for how to make the system work more smoothly and for us to offer alternatives to incarceration for drug abuse.
Jay Kahn will be a great advocate for us in the New Hampshire Senate and that is why I endorse him for Senate District 10.
94 Pleasant St.
This letter is to urge your support of Jay Kahn for the state Senate in District 10.
I have known and worked with Jay for over 20 years. As the vice president of finance and planning at Keene State for almost 30 years, he led the renovation and building effort for the college, and did so in a fiscally responsible way. If you appreciate the unified, beautiful campus as I do, thank Jay.
When the Legislature cut the University System budget appropriation nearly in half several years ago, Keene State was in the best position of the four units in the system to weather this nationally unprecedented event. This was due to Jay’s careful budget management.
Jay listens carefully to citizen concerns, researches as needed, and responds with sensitivity, empathy and action plans. Please vote for Jay in the Democratic primary.
CAROLL L. LOTHROP
19 Merriam Brook Road
It has been my experience that the best opportunity for success is the result of collaboration. Rarely is there only one individual that “makes it happen.” In fact, the individual that states “I have the answer” is the one I want to avoid as most endeavors have multiple paths to success.
Jay Kahn has always impressed me as a person interested in hearing about the various avenues to solving a problem. The Keene Sentinel article by Ethan Dewitt contained a quote that could easily symbolize Jay’s preferred governance style: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is the type of leadership I want to see; this is the type of leadership we need.
There are innumerable examples of political leaders stating they have the answer and it is my way or no way. The results of that style seldom serve the community in a positive manner. That is not Jay’s approach. He values the viewpoints of others, the opportunity for discussion, taking the time to weigh the pros and cons of each path to an end, and making an educated choice based on the facts presented.
His position regarding education rings true for me. As an educator with 38 years of experience, I strongly believe in the power of education to solve problems. Many view education as an expense, but I see it as an investment that definitely will contribute to both the local and statewide community; sometimes hard to measure but without a doubt a reflection of our values. It is obvious that Jay shares this regard for education.
I appreciate that when asked how he would solve a problem or address a need, he may decline to present a specific, neatly packaged answer. Some may ask why he might hesitate. Others recognize his wisdom. It is his desire to develop a thorough understanding of the situation and to work with others for the solution. It is cooperation. It is collaboration. It is what New Hampshire needs.
Jay has a wealth of experience to share with our communities. I encourage all District 10 residents to join me in supporting Jay Kahn by voting for him in the upcoming election.
192 Darling Road
Sept. 13, I will be voting for Jay Kahn, Democratic candidate for the New Hampshire state Senate in District 10.
Jay’s attributes include a propensity to immerse himself in a topic, learning directly through research and the people involved. His record of strategic planning and implementation at Keene State College is remarkable. I came to truly appreciate Jay when we worked together on the TDS Center design team, which Jay led in his role as director of finance at Keene State.
In 2010, Jay invited faculty from Adams and Butterflied Halls to form a building design team in order to select an architect and then create a “shovel ready” building design to present to the USNH Trustees. Jay wisely explained to the design team, while there were no guarantees a building would be approved by the trustees, our only chance was to have a design ready. This proposed project would house our significantly growing programs of technology, innovative building design and safety, and provide teaching labs and classrooms for a wide variety of science and social science courses.
Jay’s success led to our success. The college creatively self-funded the $16 million dollar project and raised the funds to install equipment for state-of-the-art labs and an impressive demonstration solar array, one of the largest in New Hampshire. Through the building design and facilities, the college took a critical step toward meeting the region’s need for more manufacturing and construction industry professionals.
The TDS Center is the first “LEED Platinum” (An EPA designation for energy conservation) building in Cheshire County and in the University System of New Hampshire. We also established a Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing to sustain the business, industry, education, government, and not-for-profit partnerships created during the design and fundraising processes.
Jay spent countless hours leading the design team, listening to faculty and responding to the needs of other stakeholders. Not only did this result in an on-time and on-budget state-of-the-art facility to benefit our Keene State students, but the entire Monadnock Region has been enriched in the process. That's the kind of creativity, collaboration and hands-on experience Jay will bring to state government.
Associate Professor, Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences, Keene State College
65 Village Road
I am delighted to serve Keene and Cheshire County as a commissioner, and hope to serve for four more years.
Quite different from my last 10 years as a member of the N.H. House of Representatives, the people I work with are problem solvers, and not servants to their party. The role of county government is appreciated and respected. I think it is more than good luck that our county employees and administrators are exceptional, talented and committed to public service.
However, for the first time in a decade, I am so excited about the quality and energy of candidates running for state office, in some ways I wish I were returning to Concord.
Jay Kahn, running for Molly Kelly’s state Senate seat, is so talented, experienced and articulate, that filling her boots will be easy and beneficial for District 10 and higher education in New Hampshire.
These exciting times in politics, often based on bluster, bigotry and misinformation at the federal level are counterbalanced by highly qualified and responsible candidates for state offices.
28 Damon Court
As a master plumber in the state of New Hampshire and a plumbing apprenticeship instructor for Keene Community Education, I share the optimistic views of Jay Kahn on good-paying work opportunities in the state.
Jay’s support for workers and local businesses has been evident during his tenure at Keene State College and the endorsement from SEA/SEIU Local 1984.
Providing opportunities to a younger workforce is critical to keeping skilled workers within our communities, making it a positive place to raise a family.
During the past 10 years of instructing, I have seen a number of young students go on to become successful employees and businessmen in their communities. Jay Kahn’s support is needed for businesses to thrive and provide opportunities for younger employees and their families. I stand with Jay Kahn in his bid for the state Senate.
42 Arch St.
I am writing in strong support of Jay Kahn for state Senate.
When I first heard that Jay was running to fill Molly Kelly’s vacant senate seat, I was surprised but delighted. I was surprised because I know that Jay had recently retired from Keene State College after 28 years of stellar service, and I thought he would want to sit back and relax in retirement, tending his gardens and playing with his grandchildren.
Well, I should have known better! Jay has always devoted his free time to helping the people in his community, by serving as city councilor, chair of the chamber of commerce and Cheshire Medical Center, just to name a few. It is no surprise that he would opt to forego the rocking chair for a seat in the Senate.
Jay’s forte is planning for the future and figuring out how to pay for it, and the incredible transformation of the Keene State campus is a testament to his efforts. I look forward to seeing what his vision will bring to Concord and the state of New Hampshire.
I am delighted that Jay is willing to bring his considerable talents to the N.H. state Senate. I can think of no better person for the job. I ask that you vote for Jay Kahn on Sept. 13.
82 North Road
(Note: This writer represents Cheshire District 1 in the N.H. House.)
I am writing in support of Jay Kahn for state Senate in District 10.
Jay has helped to promote and preserve the quality of life in New Hampshire and the Monadnock Region. He has supported educational opportunities for all ages from early childhood, to public schools, affordable colleges and workforce training. He supports access to health care and mental-health services, Medicaid expansion and Planned Parenthood. He is in favor of drug education and drug treatment.
It will be hard to fill Sen. Molly Kelly’s shoes, but I know Jay will do his best to carry on her efforts in working across the aisle and working to make New Hampshire attractive for young and old alike to grow and thrive.
206 Lead Mine Road
Like many of you these days, I find myself turning down the sound of political ads on TV. I am forced to screen my phone calls. It is all too much. It is all distortion and lies.
Well folks, you can tune into the District 10 state Senate Race candidate Jay Kahn to get a look at what an honest, hardworking and experienced leader looks like. It is refreshing to read about his successful career, his years of strong leadership within the University System of New Hampshire and his unique ability to actually listen to both sides before he forms an educated and informed opinion.
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Kahn for more than 25 years at Keene State College. During his tenure, the college has grown in stature and reputation while surviving economic downturns, fluctuating enrollment and severe funding cuts from the state of New Hampshire.
Jay’s strengths lie in his ability to diligently research the problem, to listen to ALL sides of the issue, to seek advice from his peers and then to effectively enact a plan for a successful solution.
I have seen Dr. Kahn walk into meetings of the highest levels of USNH administration and state government with well thought out plans. The budget-cutting mood for many of these sessions strictly limited any future requests. More times than not, because he did his homework, because he put in the time and effort to study the issues and propose a solid plan, Jay was able to get the funding needed.
Jay Kahn is well respected by those who worked for him, his peers — his friends and the many, many organizations he has served. He has worked tirelessly for Keene State College, for the Keene community and the state of New Hampshire. He will continue these efforts when elected this fall.
Jay Kahn is a solid choice for your vote — he is a strong and experienced leader New Hampshire needs to move us forward.
JAMES B. DRAPER 3rd
P.O. Box 146
As co-directors of a YMCA, our focus is on promoting and developing the four Y core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. It is not only what the YMCA movement believes, it is who we are and how we work with others. We personally feel that people of all ages and backgrounds relating to one another based on these core values in workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, communities and all other settings strengthens the foundations of community. It also strengthens our democracy.
In our many years of working with Jay Kahn as alumni and parent volunteers at Keene State College, we feel that, among his many gifts and talents, his character is his key asset. As a member of a small body of decision-makers whose policies have a profound impact on the lives of all New Hampshire citizens, we feel that it is critical for our senators to possess the ability to work with others — colleagues and constituents — in caring, respectful, honest and responsible ways. Jay did this day-in and day-out during his long and distinguished career at Keene State College. We know he will do this in the Senate as well. It’s who he is. It’s how he works with others.
Jay’s masterful skills in planning will also serve us well. As vice president for finance and planning at Keene State College, Jay led inclusive processes that ensured that the college had the resources it needed to support student success. He saw the facilities and staff as investments that produced professionals and citizens with the skills to strengthen New Hampshire’s economy and civic life.
Jay will bring this same perspective to Concord. He’ll not view the state budget simply as a bunch of expenses but, rather, a set of investments that need to be analyzed in terms of the return they will produce for the citizens, businesses and communities of our great state.
We look forward to the opportunity to vote for Jay Kahn on Sept. 13 and again on Nov. 8. We are excited to have Jay bring our voices — and our values — to the N.H. Senate when the new legislative session begins.
SUSAN and STEVE FORTIER
76 River St.
I have had the pleasure to work with Jay Kahn for well over the past 20 years.
In that time his leadership style has consistently been based on gathering stakeholder consensus, whether that be from students, faculty, staff or legislators. Everyone’s opinion was valued before any important decision was implemented.
At the same time, Jay is also a great consensus builder, able to bring diverse groups together to accomplish beneficial goals with positive outcomes. I have no reason to believe these processes would be any different as a state senator. All constituents would be listened to, any worthwhile solution would be explored and no one would feel ignored regardless of social standing or political affiliation.
Jay’s work ethic is well respected within the community and I know he would work tirelessly for the people that he represents.
Please consider taking a few minutes to meet with Jay to share your concerns as he continues to visit the local communities in District 10.
It will be time well spent.
28 West Shore Road
It gives me great pleasure to support Jay Kahn’s candidacy for state senator in Cheshire County (District 10). I am one of many endorsers including, but not limited to retiring Sen. Molly Kelly, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, 13 state representatives, 12 city counselors, and three county officials.
Jay served for 28 years as the vice-president of finance and design and one year as interim president at Keene State College. He holds a Ph.D. in public policy analysis and is locally and nationally recognized as a leader whose specialty is advanced manufacturing and partnerships between education and business.
Jay brings an enthusiasm to our local citizens, a strong work ethic and a plethora of knowledge and skills to this Senate seat. His work at the college required constant collaboration and compromise which transfers to the Senate floor.
Kahn understands that New Hampshire has an older population and yet we continue to lose our youth to other states. They graduate from high school and/or college, then they leave. They need good-paying jobs and affordable housing, which they don’t have in our area. Jay knows how to bring more new business and, therefore, more young families to our area. At Keene State, he helped to create the Technology, Design and Safety Center. He believes that if young graduates could find early employment opportunities, they would stay. He envisions bringing our high schools, colleges and vocational schools together with businesses. Students could work as employed assistants and while getting “hands-on” experiences which could then develop into long-term employment opportunities.
Jay is a community and statewide volunteer. For example, he is a member of the N.H. Workforce Investment and Opportunity board and a member of the N.H. Coalition for Business and Education board. He is a past board chairman of the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Cheshire Medical Center and the Monadnock Economic Development Corp.; he organized and facilitated the CASA program (for needy and/or abused children) in Keene; he helped establish the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing with the Greater Keene Chamber; and he’s presently a Keene city councilor.
Kahn supports New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion; Planned Parenthood; and education opportunities for all ages — including early childhood, elementary, secondary, and affordable college.
He wants to find solutions to help with the drug crisis in the state, such as drug education opportunities, treatment facilities for heroin/opioid users and long-term-care services; He also wants better gun control laws; and more jobs within the environmental and conservational efforts of the state. He is more than ready to join the discussion for alternative taxation within our state because He wants to help relieve the tax burden on our local homeowners.
Jay is a passionate, caring, and dedicated person who will work for his constituents. He is goal-oriented and has the education and experience to get things done. I strongly encourage you to vote for Jay Kahn in the Tuesday, Sept. 13, primary and in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election. He brings a new prospective and ideas to the Senate and he will be your voice in Concord.
417 Pako Ave.
Note: This writer represents Keene’s Ward 4 in the N.H. House.
When I learned that Molly Kelly was not re-running for the 10th District Senate seat, I was disappointed. Sen. Kelly has done such a wonderful job representing her residents, and, in fact, has served as the model of what a public official should be.
Then, I learned that Jay Kahn was planning to run. For 20 years I have known Jay professionally, and have found him to be intelligent and thoughtful in his problem-solving approach. He is an excellent listener and displays very good business and fiscal acumen. He is also a very caring person who takes a deep interest in the people of this community and our needs.
Last week I attended the Cheshire County Democrats’ public forum for District 9 and 10 Senate candidates, because I wanted to see and hear how Jay, and other Democratic candidates, would present their platform. And while each candidate seemed worthy of consideration, I left the forum convinced Kahn is by far the best candidate for District 10. Jay presents well, and was clearly informed on the important issues.
This district, at this specific time — as our young people are moving away and many local businesses continue to fold or relocate — needs a senator who has proven business understanding, recognizes the social service needs of the Monadnock Region, and who understands the importance of making our public educational system more sound. Jay has the education, experience, character and passion to represent the citizens of District 10.
In the Sept. 13 primary, I plan to vote for Jay Kahn for the District 10 Senate seat. I hope that you will consider doing the same.
ROBERT M. ROONEY SR.
22 Peg Shop Road
I had the opportunity to hear Jay Kahn speak at a house party in Winchester. Jay is running to fill Sen. Molly Kelly’s seat.
Molly Kelly was also at the event and praised Jay for his advocacy and actions to attract and retain a work force that will promote economic development, and, as a lifelong educator, promote affordable colleges, and work force training and development.
In this political climate of irrational solutions to real problems, it was so refreshing to hear a candidate who understands the needs of New Hampshire and can offer practical cost-effective solutions. You won’t want to pass up an opportunity to hear Jay speak.
391 Scofield Mountain Road
When Molly Kelly decided to run for state Senate 11 years ago, I was one of her early supporters. In the 10 years she has served as our state senator she as been a model example of the New Hampshire tradition of a “citizen legislator.”
In her retirement we are lucky to have another district citizen with the background, experience and skills of Jay Kahn to continue the progress and focus on workforce development and education that Sen. Kelly has championed during her time in the Senate.
I first got to know Jay through an effort he led called KSC Advocates, which rallied students, staff and alumni of Keene State College to advocate for strong public higher education in New Hampshire. This initiative was a vital part of the successful effort to secure more funds for our state colleges and universities, and to temporarily freeze tuition to make higher education more affordable for New Hampshire families.
Jay’s qualifications and message to move forward on workforce development and educational opportunity to bring economic development and population growth in Cheshire County is resonating with voters and community leaders across the district.
Not only has he gained the support of most of his fellow city councilors, but he has also garnered support and endorsements from the following Cheshire County state legislators: Reps. Michael D. Abbott, Lucy McVitty Weber, Tara Sad, Paul Berch, John Mann, Dick Ames, Marge Shepardson, Bruce Tatro, John Bordenet, Gladys Johnsen, Cynthia Chase and Larry Phillips.
It’s clear to me who they would like to have in the state Senate to help solve the real problems that face their friends, neighbors and constituents. Please join me in supporting Jay Kahn’s campaign for state Senate.
Chairman, Friends of Jay Kahn Committee
618 West St.
As an independent voter all my life, I have been proud to support men and women from the Republican and Democratic parties, and I have seldom been disappointed with my choices. I look for people who mean what they say, and say what they mean; people who will serve the best interests of everyone, and have the courage to stand up and be counted; people who will persevere in fighting the good fight and not just go along to get along. That is why I am endorsing Jay Kahn for state Senate.
Jay is a true friend in the Monadnock Region. Jay has built his career on accomplishment and attention to detail He has repeatedly demonstrated patience and intellect as he helped to lead Keene State College to become the success it is today.
Serving five Keene State presidents over his 28 years and having served one year as interim president, Jay has demonstrated the art of listening, not only to them, but to the broader campus community as they gave voice to what was important.
And having worked with Jay on town/gown matters, I experienced, first-hand, his creative aptitude in finding solutions to difficult problems.
And lastly, I know that Jay will put in the hard work and long hours necessary to represent all of us in Concord.
Please join me in voting for Jay Kahn for state senator.
29A Windsor Court
In a time when political rhetoric seems to fill a narrow range from alarming to bizarre, it is a great feeling to be able to endorse a candidate who inspires confidence and respect. Dr. Jay V. Kahn, who recently announced his candidacy for the N.H. Senate in District 10, is a perfect fit for the job.
Jay has the expertise, experience, vision and optimism to be an effective leader in addressing the issues we face in New Hampshire. He will make our district and our state a better place in which to live and work.
As the recently retired vice president for finance and planning at Keene State College, Jay helped transform the campus into the beautiful educational institution it is today, developing a master plan while keeping a close eye on every dollar. His impact on the college was immense. I worked for KSC from 2004 to 2014, and witnessed his unflagging energy, positive personality and impressive work ethic.
Jay understands the close relationship between workforce development, public education, and our economy, and will work to create jobs and retain the educated workers to fill them. He shares our concerns about healthcare access, infrastructure needs, and other issues that must be factored in.
It is rare to find someone who has the vision and energy to set high goals, and at the same time the ability to drill down to the details of policies and budgets. Jay is able to collaborate across diverse interests. He will advocate for our beautiful corner of New Hampshire.
Please join me and my husband, Gordon, in supporting his candidacy.
409 Old Stoddard Road