Three to vie for Hampton Highway Super

Three candidates will vie for the position of highway superintendent in Hampton this November.

Incumbent Francis Baker will be challenged by town councilman Herbert Sady Jr. and Joseph Williams.

All three will appear on the Independent Party line on November’s ballot. Sady and Baker will vie for the Republican nomination in next month’s primary, which will be held on Sept. 10.

Sady has already been nominated by the Conservative Party and received the endorsement of the Democratic Party after it failed to produce a candidate during its Aug. 6 caucus.

He also received the endorsement of the Hampton Republican Committee despite Baker being a Republican incumbent.

Members of the party acknowledged Baker has done a fine job, but believe Sady brings new ideas and a fresh perspective.

Baker, 79, has served three consecutive terms and six terms overall since first being elected as highway superintendent in 1998.

The only time he has lost an election during that time was in 2007, when he was narrowly defeated by Walter Douglas, a result that was ultimately decided by several absentee ballots.

He defeated Williams by 38 votes in 2009 and Matt Thomas by 35 votes in 2011. In both instances, his challengers were write-in candidates.

Sady, 53, is a retired correction officer and has been a member of the town council since 2009.

He has managerial experience from his time working with the state and extensive experience in heavy equipment operation and construction.

Williams is a local contractor and donated his time during the construction of the town hall.

The position of highway superintendent has been debated in Hampton in recent years.

In the fall of 2011, the town board considered changing the position from an elected one to an appointed one.

At the time, some officials argued that the town could save money by making the highway superintendent a working position and thus get by with a smaller staff.

Currently, the highway department consists of Baker and two full-time employees.

After an overwhelming show of public support for Baker and for keeping the position elected one, officials decided not to put the matter up for a vote.

The highway superintendent is a part-time position in Hampton and receives approximately $12,000 in annual salary. It is a two-year term.

Also on November’s ballot are the positions of town supervisor, town council, justice, clerk and tax collector; however there is little intrigue as all positions will be uncontested.

David O’ Brien will run for a second term (two years) as supervisor. Andrea Sweeney will run for one of two spots on town council (four years) while Don Sady will run for the other. Sady is a former supervisor and served several terms as councilman.

Rebecca Jones and Cam Shaw will run unopposed for town clerk and tax collector, respectively, and Darlene Sady will seek another term as justice.

The Republican primary for highway superintendent will be held on Sept. 10. Registered Republicans can vote at the Hampton Town Hall.

The general election will be held on Nov. 5.

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