Capital Comments: Lempster Loses A Man Passionate About His Causes

Yorick Hurd, II, an active resident of Lempster, NH, passed away November 15th. Scroll down to read Senator Odell’s tribute to this “wonderful and unique man who lived every day to the fullest.”

By State Senator Bob Odell

The Secretary of State has sent out notices summoning newly elected and re-elected Senators and House members to a meeting “on the first Wednesday of December … to attend and take their seats on that day.”  That is the requirement in our constitution that will bring together legislators for the first meeting of the new legislature.

It will be a day of celebrations as Representatives and Senators are sworn in with family and friends in attendance.  In addition to being sworn in as new legislators, the House and Senate will come together in a “joint convention” to elect the Secretary of State and State Treasurer.  With no opposition, Catherine Provencher will remain our Treasurer.  And Bill Gardner, America’s longest serving Secretary of State and chief protector of New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary, will be re-elected.

Every winning candidate looks forward to the day they can raise their right hand and be sworn into office.  That day will be Wednesday of next week.

Within each Senate district, there are roughly 16-17 House members.  The election produced many changes in who will represent my district when the House convenes next week.  Starting in Merrimack County, Steve Winter will represent the Sutton-Newbury two town district.  Steve and I served together in the House in 2002-2004 and then Steve served a couple of terms as Clerk of the Senate where his mastery of parliamentary procedure was very helpful.

David Kidder and Randy Foose will continue to represent New London, a part of the 8th Senate district as well as Wilmot and Danbury which are part of another Senate district.

In Cheshire County, the highest profile House Democrat defeated in the election was Dan Eaton. He had been the majority floor leader. Anne Cartwright of Alstead was a winner in the three member district that takes in the towns of Alstead, Marlow, Nelson, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan and Walpole.  Incumbents Tara Sad and Lucy Weber, both of Walpole, were re-elected.  Bob Moore of Westmoreland will be the new representative for the Surry, Gilsum and Westmoreland distirct.

The election produced some changes in the makeup of the Sullivan County delegation to the House of Representatives.  While not part of the 8th  Senate District, the Grantham, Cornish and Plainfield house district will have two new representatives, Benjamin Lefebvre and Andy Schmidt.

Within the 8th Senatorial District, three incumbents, Steve Cunningham, Tom Howard and the dean of the Sullivan County delegation, Beverly Rodeschin, were re-elected to the Newport, Springfield, Goshen, Washington and Croyden district.  Representative Rodeschin will begin her 11th term in the House when she is sworn in next week.

Sunapee businessman Spec Bowers will be the new Representative for his town.  Sunapee is one of the few towns in the state with a one town legislative district.  In the Acworth, Langdon and Charlestown district, newcomers Tom Laware and Steve Smith will be the representatives.

Three incumbents, Joe Osgood, Ray Gagnon and John Cloutier were re-elected in the district that includes Claremont, Unity and Lempster.  They will be joined by first time representatives Charlene Lovett and Paul LaCasse.

The 13 member Sullivan County delegation has 6 incumbents returning to Concord and 7 new members.  After many years of having a Democrat majority, the delegation will have 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats for the next two years.

Very importantly, the House members from each county constitute the “delegation” which plays a critical role in county government.  The delegation works on and must approve the county budget each year.  It is not unusual for newly elected House members to not even know about this critical role they play in county affairs.  Some call it the “county government hat” that legislators wear.

While the tempo and workload of the Senate and House are quite different, I look forward to working with all of my legislative colleagues who will be serving in the House.

Our Lempster neighborhood has lost another resident and special connection to our town’s history.  I live on Hurd Road and part of a beautiful pond, Hurd Pond, is on my property. And down the road is the Hurd family homestead with a unique house that is one of the oldest in town.  The Hurd family history is integral to the history of Lempster.

Yorick Hurd returned to his family’s home 16 years ago.  And once in place, he was everywhere.  He tended to the maintenance of his historic home, sold Christmas trees and was always ready with a warm wave as I drove by going to and from the post office.  And he was the consummate volunteer and activist.  Whatever the task, Yorick was there.

He was passionate about his causes.  And as his State Senator, I heard regularly from my neighbor.  He sent me little messages about issues before the legislature, nearly always had signs in his yard for favored candidates and causes.  My last sighting of Yorick was in Claremont a couple of weeks ago.  He was on a street corner with a few others protesting America’s involvement in current wars.

As I write this morning, I look out at three lilac bushes that Yorick gave to Sandy and me many years ago.  They will serve as a reminder of a wonderful and unique man who lived every day to the fullest … good neighbor and faithful friend, involved in the community and always visibly committed to his favored causes.

Bob Odell represents State Senate District 8—Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury, Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.

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