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January News

January may have 31 days, but the month has flown. It’s the month to finalize Senate legislation, sign-up co-sponsors, convene committees, deliver testimony, write opinion editorials, and recruit experts to testify in committee hearings. It’s also a critical time to develop a work pace that enables me to spend equal time with Cheshire County groups that inspire the case for our region

Thank You!

I am very grateful to the voters of Cheshire County and Senate District 10 for electing me as their next State Senator to succeed Sen. Molly Kelly; winning with 64% of the vote is a convincing margin. Your support, letters to the editor, and contributions were most helpful. I began this election with a commitment to make a difference in the lives of people in Cheshire County. I said I would bring my optimism, energy and determination to get things done and that mine would be a positive campaign about the future of our region and state. These commitments and your support helped me gain votes across party lines and across advocacy groups.

While I was hopeful for other outcomes from the general election, we all need to move forward and work to improve the the lives of those we serve. As I look ahead, I have a few below-the-headline observations:

  • Our NH Congressional representatives will be all Democrats and all women, and they are all strong advocates for education, healthcare, mental health and workforce development; In contrast, the nation’s president will be a Republican working with a Republican-led congress. Our congressional delegation will face some partisan challenges in the coming 115th session.
  • The election of a new Republican Governor, together with roughly the same party make-up in the State Senate, House of Representative and Executive Council, puts Republicans in leadership of State Government.
  • The statewide elected officials are all from the southeastern part of the state, with the exception of Cong. Kuster, who is from Concord, which illustrates the geographic, economic and political pull of the state.

My challenge is to navigate these changing dynamics to accomplish the goals I set forward during the election and gain some wins for Cheshire County and the state. I will work across the aisles to get things done, which is exactly what I pledged when announcing my candidacy.

I want to congratulate newly elected state officials: US Senator-elect Maggie Hassan, Congresswomen Kuster, Governor-elect Sununu, Executive Councilor-elect Andru Volinsky and the newly elected and reelected state representatives and county officers. I look forward to working with each of them.

And I want to thank the many people who ran for office, who worked and volunteered for candidates, who met voters, and who worked inside and outside the polling places. Your participation is an important contribution to our electoral process. I greatly appreciate your efforts!

Endorsements – GOTV

By Mike Hoefer on September 8, 2016 in Commentary

In these final days before the primary, I want to take a minute to tell you how proud I am of the endorsements that Jay has received in his bid to become our next State Senator. The people and organizations listed below will need to work everyday with the person we elect; their choice and preference is clear- They want to work with Jay.

Elected Officials
Congresswoman Annie Kuster. State Senator Molly Kelly.Cheshire State Representatives: Michael D. Abbott, Dick Ames, Paul Berch, John Bordenet, Cyndy Chase, Dan Eaton, Gladys Johnsen, Doug Ley, John Mann, Tara Sad, Marge Shepardson, Bruce Tatro, Lucy McVitty Weber, Larry Phillips.County Commissioners: Chuck Weed and Stillman Rogers. Keene Mayor Kendall Lane. Former Keene Mayors: Dale Pregent and Aaron Lipsky. Keene City Councilors: Terry Clark, Randy Filiault, Mitchell Greenwald, Stephen Hooper, Carl Jacobs, Philip Jones, Gary Lamoureux, Janis Manwaring, Robert O’Connor, Tom Powers, and David Richards. Roxbury Town Selectman: Jim Rousmaniere, Jr. Winchester Town Clerk Jim Tetreault. Cheshire County Register of Deeds: Anna Tilton

National Education Association – New Hampshire (NEA-NH) and the American Federation of Teachers – New Hampshire (AFT-NH) understand that Jay is the candidate to support our teachers and the education our students need to thrive in life.

The State Employees Association of New Hampshire (SEA/SEIU Local 1984) chose Jay as the candidate in the race that will best support their members in our district and across our state.

Citizens of District 10
People have gotten to know Jay by meeting him at a dozen house parties held across our district; his visits to the manufacturers and businesses; and healthcare, mental health, and social service providers.  They have shared that support in at least 16 letters to the editor in the Keene Sentinel and nearly 400 volunteer supporters.

Jay has dedicated himself to meeting people and learning about the issues facing our region and state. Jay attended several of the Maplewood Nursing Home hearings this past summer; Kris Roberts attended none. Jay is the only candidate who attended the NH Democratic Convention, and he was the only candidate from the district to attend the Democratic State Senate Policy Briefing, events open to all candidates running for senate to help prepare them for issues likely to confront the Senate next year.

The time for action is now!
I am confident that the candidate that wins the primary next Tuesday will be the next Senator from District 10. If you want, like I do, for that person to be Jay Kahn we need a few hours of your time over the next few days.

Please contact our Campaign Manager David Lamando at
Volunteer opportunities include canvassing, calling likely primary voters, and poll visibility.

A couple of hours of your time this weekend will help make sure Jay Kahn is the next State Senator from District 10.

Thank you for your support!

Michael Hoefer
Chairman Friends of Jay Kahn

Feeling shy? Please consider these EASY opportunities to share our message:

  1.  “Attend” our “VOTE FOR JAY” Event on Facebook. A simple RSVP to this virtual event will let your Facebook friends know you plan to “VOTE JAY”. (You can do it right now!)
  2.  Post on your Facebook page or send one of the following messages to your email contacts:
    1. Education is important to me so next Tuesday I will be voting for Jay Kahn for State Senate. He’s had a career in Higher Education (an important issue in our state) and has been endorsed by both the American Federation of Teachers – New Hampshire (AFT-NH and National Education Association – New Hampshire (NEA-NH)
    2. Listening to others and collaboration is an important part of the way we get things done in New Hampshire. Jay has demonstrated these qualities throughout his career. The Keene Sentinel said of Jay: “His deliberate, consensus-building approach to getting things done has long been felt behind the scenes in this region.” Maybe that is why he has been endorsed by 33 current Cheshire County elected officials from across the region and up and down the ballot. Please join me in voting for Jay Kahn Tuesday September 13th.
    3. Economic development is critical to move our region forward. Jay has experience working with government agencies, private sector and non-profit organizations to build coalitions and solve real world problems. I believe he will be the strongest advocate for our region. Please join me in voting for Jay Kahn on Tuesday September 13th.

Human Services and Mental Health

As we recognized the 2nd anniversary of enacting statewide Medicaid expansion, which provides coverage to 3,000 people in Cheshire County, it is important also to recognize that we still have important health and mental health care issues needing attention. Keene Sentinel articles have informed us of people falling through our health care, mental health and human services systems.  Additional perspectives come from Cheshire County professionals about how we can improve mental health and human services in NH.  

We currently spend a lot of money putting band aids on symptoms without dealing with the root causes of income, home, and food insecurities.  Frequently, these symptoms are connected to a substance use disorders, mental illness, abusive relationships, learning disabilities and disrupted education and often they co-exist.  We need to go beyond patching the symptoms and to a more systematic approach to helping people overcome the pain from root causes; it’s not a dash to the finish line it’s about restoring belief in oneself and that change is possible.


As the problem of substance use disorders increases it becomes more evident there is a shortage of people trained to work on these issues. Staffing levels are affected by:

  • low earnings,
  • high burn-out rates from unrealistic workloads, and
  • a lack of certification and degree programs to fill current openings.

Area mental health, healthcare, corrections and human service professionals provide some valuable ideas for us to consider:


1) Review NH's licensing requirements for healthcare and substance use disorder counselors, and accept reciprocity of licensure/certification from other states. Professionals in the field believe NH takes too long, and newly qualified personnel are going elsewhere for work.


2)  Create more in-state educational opportunities for certificate and degree programs that provide health-care, mental health and human services personnel.  

3) Expand model programs, like Southwestern Community Services’ Coordinated Access Provider Program (CAPP), a 24/7 hotline providing Trained Recovery Coaches within one hour of emergency responders coming to assist users.


4) Begin Substance Use Education at earlier ages and reach out to family’s of youngsters who experience the stress of a household in need of help.


5) Offer alternatives to incarceration, such as drug court programs, transitions to work and more health-trained professionals to prescribe treatment for substance use disorders.


6) Increase screening of 0-5 year-old children for learning, physical, and behavioral disabilities and expand treatment options.


7) Integrate information systems and services.  So often people who need housing assistance also need food, education, employment experience, energy assistance, or child care, and each service request is treated like a first (or separate) occurrence.  We make it difficult to for people applying for services that are co-related but separated by  funding silos.


8) Provide better information technology to state employees.  State and non-profit caseworkers are overloaded and need better technology to do their work.


We are spending a lot of volunteer and salaried resources on stand-alone programs and can strengthen the safety net in NH and the nation by coordinating needs and services.  Most of the ideas above are inexpensive and within our ability to implement quickly.  Cheshire County professionals, coaches, families and individuals dealing with recovery have much to offer to policy makers.  The responsibility of area legislators is to ensure that local ideas drive policy and funding, not just follow.


Jay Kahn

Jay Kahn Announcement Remarks

announcementDear Voters of NH Senate District 10,

The response to my candidacy has been great. People throughout Senate District 10 are excited and relieved to have a person of my background running to succeed Senator Kelly. (See endorsements)

With 43 years of public finance experience, executive and leadership experience, and a Ph.D. in Political Science--Policy Studies, I am well-prepared to address the challenges faced by our state. I have the energy and stamina to vigorously advocate for the citizens and institutions of Cheshire County.

I have an optimistic outlook for our state, founded on growing our population and economy through good paying work opportunities. We should be proud of NH’s 2.6% unemployment rate, 2.3% in the greater Keene area. However, these low unemployment rates also signal a shrinking workforce availability, something that could hamper economic growth and make it difficult for businesses and organizations to replace retiring workers. Building a workforce and expanding our state’s economy will take a coordinated, well thought out set of values and directions for our state.

  • My highest priority is to preserve and promote the quality of life in NH, to grow businesses, foster innovation, and retain young people in this region. Innovative people are attracted to areas where people are innovating. Our state government, in concert with business, not-for-profits, and local governments, needs to promote Cheshire County as a progressive, well educated, beautiful region to live and work.

    Here my track record is deep. I helped create MonadNet, the first Internet service provider in the Monadnock region. I helped create a business and education intersection through the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing, RCAM; helped establish a CASA program in Keene to support abused and neglected kids in SW NH; led establishing the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce Workforce Coordinator; and helped leverage business incentives to bring jobs into this region when I led the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.

  • My second priority is assuring educational opportunities at all ages: early childhood, public schools, affordable colleges, and innovative and relevant workforce training and development. I recognize the value of education, not just as a means to a more fulfilling life, but as an essential element of a democratic society.
  • A third essential element for attracting and retaining workforce, families, and retirees in our region is health care access and quality. I will support Medicaid expansion as a critical means for assuring access to health care. I will support Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose her desired health care and where she wishes to obtain it.
  • A fourth priority is keeping our communities and citizens safe through attention to economic security; drug education, enforcement and treatment; and well trained emergency response personnel. We need to continue the work started with the leadership of Sen. Kelly through state funding for the Coordinated Access Program, CAP, which links together SW Community Services, emergency responders, healthcare and mental health providers, and recovery coaches to fight the drug use epidemic in this region.
  • Fifth, I will actively advocate for safe highways and bridges for this region, particularly those that are gateways to the region. I will advocate for better broadband access and speeds needed to support the economy and workforce in this region. Broadband access is expensive and inadequate in this part of the state, and firms can move faster by relocating than by waiting for improved services.And I will also be an advocate to expand renewable energy production and conservation efforts in the state. Putting caps on alternative electricity generation is not in the long-term interest of this state.

I am engaged in this campaign to win, to move forward with initiatives to advance the Monadnock region and the State of New Hampshire. We live in a region that defines its politics more by the character of a person than by the political party they join. I look forward to representing the interests of District 10, Cheshire County, and its citizens.

Thank you for joining me in this effort. I look forward to representing YOU in the NH State Senate.

- Jay Kahn