For the first time in recent memory there will be a primary to determine who will become the Democratic nominee for mayor.
Timothy Chaucer said he has begun circulating petitions throughout the city, and is “well on his way” to achieving the 450 registered voters’ signatures to force a primary Sept. 15.
Chaucer, a longtime city preservationist, lost the Democratic nomination at the party’s convention last week, by a vote of 81-9, to Economic Development Commission Chairwoman Genevieve Salvatore.
The deadline for Chaucer to certify the signatures is Aug. 12. The winner will take on four-term Republican Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. and Milford Independent Party mayoral candidate Peter Spalthoff.
“I am working as hard as I can to get these signatures,” Chaucer said. “It’s not an easy task.”
Chaucer said he is committed to seeking a primary because he is the only candidate for “open government.”
“It’s what my campaign is all about,” Chaucer said. “An awful number of people are not convinced that everything is as it should be.”
Chaucer, who describes himself as a New England fiscal conservative, said he believes preserving the city’s character is vital.
“Milford can continue to be a tremendous tourist attraction,” Chaucer said.
Chaucer said he does not personally know Salvatore except that she is a practicing lawyer, and only recently became a registered Democrat. He also said her law firm has represented the “kind of interests” residents may not want in the mayor’s office, including large construction companies.
Salvatore said she’s had many clients and is “proud of each and every one of them.” She said she will not practice law if elected mayor, and vowed to run a “clean campaign.”
“I applaud both for their interest and their willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to run for the office. In the end, Genevieve earned a resounding victory,” said Democratic Town Chairman Richard Smith. “If Democrats are to win in November, it is now time we come together around the issues we believe in and the candidate we’ve selected.”
In 1987, Chaucer forced and won a primary, eventually getting a seat on the Planning and Zoning Board.
“I know Mr. Chaucer was talking about a primary and I understand that initial inclination. Still, knowing how important the issues are to Tim, I trust he will put aside his personal feelings and work for the good of our city and the Democratic Party. I look forward to having Tim’s help during this election,” Smith added.
Original Story NH REGISTER Brian McReady