News Archives

Watters Announces Conservation Endorsements

The Watters for Senate Campaign received endorsements this week from the New Hampshire Sierra Club and Conservation NH. Rep. David Watters who is running for State Senate District 4 was recognized as an environmental champion for his concern for the New Hampshire environment and the impact of pollution on human health. Watters serves on the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee and on the Atlantic States Marine FIsheries Council.

At the endorsement on October 15, Jerry Curran, the political chair for the New Hampshire Sierra Club said that candidates like Watters "are our best hope for preserving clean air and clean water and protecting the wild places for the people of New Hampshire and all of the business which benefit from our abundant environmental wealth." He also noted that Watters and other incumbents "worked hard to dismantle Speaker O'Briens radical conservative agenda that has dismantled smart, popular energy programs and threatened others." The New Hampshire Sierra Club endorsed Watters based on responses to an in-depth questionnaire, voting record and history of environmental involvement.

Conservation NH executive director Susie Hackler and chair of Board of Directors Elizabeth Hager announced the endorsement of David Watters at an event at Diamond Hill Farm in Hopkinton on October 17.  This non-partisan group works with environmental organizations across the state in order to coordinate its efforts and to work together to preserve the quality of life New Hampshire citizens enjoy. The endorsement was based on a detailed questionnaire and an in-person interview. Watters articulated his positions on top environmental and conservation issues facing New Hampshire, such as land and water use, transportation, climate, energy, and health. The endorsement recognizes his deep knowledge of the issues and commitment to preserve the environment in Senate District 4 and across the state.

David Watters expressed his gratitude for these endorsements, "I am honored to have the support of conservation voters across the district, and I will continue to fight for the environment so people can have access to our special natural resources for fishing, hunting, and recreation. I am especially committed to maintaining our resources in the Great Bay Region and along our coasts so that they can support economic activities of our tourism industry and fishing. The quality of life in our communities depends on a healthy environment." Watters is also committed to working in the Senate to reduce pollution and to support measures to increase conservation and green energy.

Fosters Daily Democrat 10.19.2012

DOVER — David Watters, a Dover resident running for the Strafford County District 4 Senate seat, said his three goals as a state senator are to strengthen education, focus on the environment and balance the budget.

“I’m running to bring some common sense and stability back to Concord. I’ve been up there the last couple of years and saw the divisiveness over the social issues,” he said during an editorial board meeting. “We didn’t get the work done that we needed to get the economy moving and to create jobs.”
Watters says a priority of his is preparing people for jobs right now by increasing the importance of technical colleges and community colleges.

“For me, I think we need to focus on education. That is going to bring the kind of quality and trained work for 21st century jobs.”
Watters, a professor at the University of New Hampshire since 1978, said he moved to the area to begin his career in education. His wife is also a professor and he has family throughout New Hampshire.

“I’m running for community values,” he said. “We take care of our own. We take care of our children. We take care of our elderly. We make sure that a town like Dover has a beautiful environment. The quality of life here is extraordinary. People love it. They don’t want legislators to mess it up. There are things that we need to do here.”

One issue in our state Watters is concerned with is the Great Bay estuary. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to reduce Dover’s nitrogen discharge, which currently operates between 15 milligrams to 20 milligrams per liter, to a limit of 3 milligrams per liter. The coalition did a number of studies and proved it does not need to be below 8 milligrams per liter. To meet this goal, the Great Bay Municipalities, which include Exeter, Newmarket, Rochester, Portsmouth and Dover, would have to make millions of dollars in upgrades to their facilities.

“I am 100 percent behind the coalition for the 8 milligrams per liter. I think that is the sweet spot. I worked with legislation last time to say, ‘Look, it is very hard to get below that. We have winter around here,” he said. “If the EPA had a shred of common sense to sign off on the eight and put a program in place as they have in Durham, and are working on in Newmarket to deal with the storm water, we would do a much better job.”

Watters said he met with the heads of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services just before the coalition sued them.
“I said, ‘Look, it is federal, but you have a role to play as DES because you provide opinions … and what we talked about was a 5-5-5 plan.”
This plan, he said, gives the city five years to design, five years to build and then five years to look at the results.

“The idea was, you could build to the eight (milligrams per liter), then have five years to learn and then have 15 years to build other processes,” he said. “You could, for not much cost, design that plant, so that if you have to add on to it later on, you would design it to do that, just in case, but you would have the 15 years there to let the science catch up and find other ways, and also have time to develop other plans.”

Watters is also concerned with moving forward in regards to the state’s economy and the people of New Hampshire’s future.
He said his opponent, Phyllis Woods, wrote that no real woman would ever use contraception. He also said she signed the Cornerstone Pledge.

“The Cornerstone Pledge, you can read it. She signed it. It brings back all that business of life beginning at conception. So you can say goodbye to IUD, say goodbye to in vitro, say goodbye to some kind of birth control. It also says parent’s have natural rights over their children,” he said.

“Why sign a pledge that brings back everything that tied the House up in knots?” he asked.

During the last budget process, he said, certain cuts were made with the Republicans in control, which he did not agree with.
“… But I will agree, that by law, we need a balanced budget. I’m a frugal Yankee,” he said. “I do not support income or sales tax. I’m against that because I think that is the New Hampshire way. It is the New Hampshire advantage, too.”

He said the bottom line for him is to grow the economy.

“I have great faith in New Hampshire businesses to make money. This is an entrepreneurial state,” he said.
Watters said this election will solve problems many residents have right now.

“I think also this election will get rid of a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “People are waiting. There is a lot of money to be invested. We are going to see some real growth.”

Democracy for America Endorsement 9.27.2012

The Watters campaign is proud to announce the endorsement of Democracy for America. On our Democracy for America page, supporters may become a fan of the campaign as well as view David's biography, his reasons for running as well as the values he considers to be important.

Watters Campaign Announces Sets Fundraising Records and Announces Endorsements

The Watters for Senate campaign filed record fundraising numbers with the Secretary of State for the first filing period on August 22, 2012. With over 300 individual donors, the campaign has more contributors than any previous campaign for state senate in communities comprising the new District 4, Barrington, Dover, Rollinsford, and Somersworth. “This grassroots campaign has hundreds of supporters in New Hampshire who want common sense leadership in Concord, and we will continue to bring our message of jobs, community values, and fairness to the voters to build a winning campaign,” according to Watters. The number of donors far surpasses those of the previous senators, Merrill, Cilley, and Groen.

The campaign has also raised more new money for this filing than the previous senators, with nearly $47,000.00 raised. Watters’ campaign manager Duncan Fleming noted, “This success means we will reach every voter through direct mailing, door-to-door flyers, and phone calls. Voters will hear about David’s support for education funding, protecting the environment, collective bargaining, and women’s health. It’s time to turn back Speaker O’Brien’s Tea Party candidates for the state senate.”

The Watters for Senate campaign also announced its growing list of endorsements and supporters. Through a pro-business economic development plan, Watters has earned the support of New Hampshire Association of Realtors, Federal Express PAC, Associated General Contractors of New Hampshire, Independent Pharmacy Association. For his support of education and restored funding for the community and technical colleges as well as the University System of New Hampshire, the National Education Association-NH, the American Federation of Teachers-NH, and the American Association of University Professors have given their endorsement. David Watters thanks teachers for their support, “As an educator, I know the commitment teachers give to help every student learn, and, working together with parents and local communities, we can improve public education. The state must pay its fair share. We can’t grow the economy without strong public schools.”

The Watters campaign has also gained the support of middle-class working families who care for our elderly citizens, make our government run efficiently, take care of our infrastructure, and keep our communities safe. This includes the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, SEIU Local 1984--the State Employees Association of New Hampshire, and the New Hampshire Public Health Association. The campaign is also supported by members of the building trades, including the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Union Local 3, the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 131, the New Hampshire Carpenters Local 118, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320, and the Granite State Teamsters. David Watters said, “I will fight for New Hampshire’s middle-class families by keeping taxes low, opposing downshifting of costs, and ensuring fair bargaining practices.”

Thank you to all who made this possible for your continued support of the campaign. Together, we will win this fight for the citizens of District 4.

Thank You! 8.27.2012

A big thank you to all of the supporters who showed up to canvass this weekend! It was a very successful trip through Somersworth and Dover. I also thank the nice people at Organizing for America who were kind enough to take my literature out on their canvasses.  

The Strafford County Democrats also held their picnic yesterday and it was a great success. We saw a fantastic turnout and lots of delicious food! Thanks to the Strafford County Democratic Committee for putting another great event!

Fosters Daily Democrat 7.27.2012

"DOVER — A set of State Senate hopefuls will meet with administrators and residents of Riverside Rest Home next month to share information about Medicare in honor of the program's 47th birthday.

Both David Watters, District 4, and Richard Leonard, District 6, hope to speak with these individuals about how a Republican-driven plan to provide the state legislature the ability to alter Medicare will affect them.

The two argue this plan dovetails a national Republican plan that seeks to run Medicare on what they called a voucher program, increase the age someone must be to become eligible for Medicare, and increase costs.

"We've got to stop this plan," said Watters.

Leonard echoed Watters, calling it "common sense" to stop such changes from occurring.

According to Watters, the state only reimburses roughly 10 percent of the Medicare costs for Strafford County. Leonard noted the continual decrease in reimbursement because of budget cuts and the deficit caused the assisted living facility to loose programs due to lack of funding.

Leonard stressed, continually cutting the budget and the reimbursement for the county will eventually have a "dramatic effect" on the County Farm Road home and the care provided to its residents.

The two noted in its 47th year, Medicare shows to be one of the most "successful" health care programs, and altering it, as proposed, would have significant consequences for seniors.

According to Watters, the Granite State has one of the largest population of senior citizens in New England. Because of this, altering Medicare would affect a large percentage of the state's population.

"Seniors have a tough time making ends meet as it is," said Leonard, noting he has heard countless stories of citizens who went without medication due to rising costs. "It's a problem for a lot of older folks."

The meeting between Watters, Leonard and those who live and work at Riverside Rest Home is tentatively scheduled to take place on August 13 at the assisted living facility. "

Fosters Daily Democrat 6.15.2012

"DOVER — It's official.

Democratic State Rep. David Watters, of Dover, formally entered the race for New Hampshire Senate last week.

Watters turned in his election papers at the Secretary of State's office in Concord on Wednesday, June 6. He was joined on the trip by 13 other Democratic candidates for state Senate.

A two-term member of the New Hampshire House, Watters is seeking the Democratic nomination for the District 4 Senate seat. The district encompasses Dover, Barrington, Rollinsford and Somersworth.

"It is time to put aside the divisive social issues and extreme rhetoric in Concord," Watters said in a statement this week. "We need to create jobs, support education, and preserve our community values, and protect our natural resources."

Watters is a University of New Hampshire English professor. He is an active member of the Dover Democratic Committee, and was chairman of Strafford County's Democratic Committee, according to information provided by his campaign. He is also a commissioner on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission."

Fosters Daily Democrat 5.24.2012
Watters for Senate announces campaign team appointments

"DOVER — The Watters for Senate Campaign announced key appointments to the campaign team, including campaign manager, campaign treasurer, and communications firm.

In making the announcement, Rep. David Watters stated, "I am excited to bring this team together to create a winning campaign for District 4, Barrington, Dover, Rollinsford, and Somersworth. Having met early fundraising goals, the campaign is gearing up to take our Democratic message to the voters."

The campaign manager is Duncan Fleming. He served during the 2011-12 session as an intern in the New Hampshire State Senate in the office of Sens. Kelly, Larsen, and Merrill, and he volunteered for the 2008 Barack Obama Presidential campaign. He is a member of Psi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society, and he was the Londonderry High School class valedictorian. Rep. Watters welcomes Duncan to the Watters for Senate campaign team: "Duncan has campaign experience as well as experience working on senate legislative issues, and he brings to the campaign a passion for reaching out to voters about core Democratic values. His fundraising experience will also be an asset to the campaign."

The campaign treasurer is Carol Appel, vice chairperson, Strafford County Democratic Committee, treasurer of the Dover Democratic Committee, and a member of the 2012 New Hampshire Democratic Party Platform Committee, Carole Appel was chair of the Strafford County Democratic Committee from 1996 to 2006. She served a term as secretary of the N.H. Democratic Party. Appel has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in linguistics. She worked in scholarly book publishing for 25 years before moving to Dover in 1993. Senate candidate Watters notes, "I am grateful to my good friend and Democratic Party colleague of many years for her commitment to this campaign. She has been honored for her work as a Democratic activist, and she knows how to create a winning grassroots campaign in District 4."

The Watters for Senate Campaign has also contracted the services of Bridge Communications, of Newington, Ct., and Washington, D.C. to provide messaging, direct mail, and polling services. CEO Doug Hasson will work closely with Rep. Watters to get the message of jobs, education, community values, and equality out to the votes of Barrington, Dover, Rollinsford, and Somersworth. Bridge Communications has worked on campaigns across the country, from the local to the presidential levels, as well as many campaigns in New Hampshire.

For further information on the Watters for Senate Campaign, visit or call 969-9224."

Fosters Daily Democrat 5.5.2012
Rep Watters joins Chamber

Letter to the editor
"Common sense

To the editor: The events last week in Concord show why we need to restore civility and common sense to the legislature. The State Senate tabled or sent to interim study bills that would undermine unions, restrict abortion, and permit unconstitutional limits on legal refugees. Whether one agrees with these positions or not by the Republican majority in the senate, it is that body's right to act as it sees fit on legislation.
Speaker O'Brien in the House responded by inserting the union decertification bill into a Senate measure on snowplowing. The anti-abortion bill and the anti-refugee bill went into important Senate bills to increase the business investment tax credit. These pro-business bills are bipartisan efforts, which I strongly support, to promote economic growth and create jobs. It would be terrible to see them fail for the sake of a squabble started by Speaker O'Brien. At the end of the session on Wednesday, the House Republican leadership tabled seven Senate bills, including one needed to pass now to gain $13 million for the prisons. This was done, it was said, to "send a message."
The message being sent is that the legislative process and important bills will be sacrificed to extremism. I went to Concord to do the people's work, to make government and legislation serve all the people, and to listen to all sides in creating my bipartisan legislation. At its best, the legislature works well and wisely. I am running for State Senate in District 4, Barrington, Dover, Rollinsford, and Somersworth to restore fairness and balance in Concord. The people of this district deserve legislators who will work together for the good of our families, our schools, and our communities.

State Rep. David H. Watters
The New Hampshire 5.1.2012

"English professor David Watters started working at the University of New Hampshire in 1978 and has been an active member of both the UNH and New Hampshire communities ever since. He has served on the boards of various local organizations and worked with many others, including the New Hampshire Historical Society, the New Hampshire Humanities council, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Four years ago, Watters took his service into the political realm when he ran for and won a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives as the representative of Strafford county District 4, which consists of Dover’s first and second wards.

Watters was inspired to participate in community service by his parents. His father served as a doctor for the Veteran’s Association and his mother, a survivor of polio, worked with Easter Seals, an organization that gives aid to those with disabilities.

He said that he was inspired to run for office when he met then candidate Barack Obama at an event in the summer of 2007 and listened to a speech about giving back to the community.

While serving in the House, Watters also has had to balance his job as a professor. He said that his UNH job comes first, and that he puts one hundred percent of his effort into every one of his classes. When he first was thinking of running for office, he spoke to the administration to ensure that it was an acceptable act for a UNH professor and found that he was not the first to take on a second job as a legislator.

Watters teaches a variety of English classes at UNH and said he loves teaching New England or New Hampshire studies. He currently specializes in black New England history, particularly early African-American New Hampshire culture. In addition, Watters said that he enjoys teaching his students about Robert Frost and watching them connect to his poetry.

Watters believes that the New Hampshire House is a “citizen legislature,” and that it is by no means unusual for a member to also be a working person in the state.

Watters is now running for a seat in the state Senate where he said he hopes he can work to “affect important changes.” His primary concern is the education system in the state. In particular, he is worried about funding for public education, which he views as extremely important to maintain the high technology jobs that make up a large portion of the New Hampshire seacoast’s job market.

Though he views education and equality for all as extremely important issues, Watters believes that the economy is going to be the most talked about issue in the coming election.  “People are anxious. There is too much uncertainty about good jobs coming into the area,” he said. “We need to make sure jobs are growing.”

Watters’s philosophy on government is one shared by many in New Hampshire.  “It’s all about hearing people and about how government can help, or get out of the way when necessary,” he said.

So far, Watters has been working on building the infrastructure for his campaign. He has been working evenings and weekends, making phone calls and speaking to as many community groups as possible in an effort to reach his 54,000 possible constituents.

In his last election, Watters was able to knock on all 1,800 doors of his possible voters, a feat that he says may be much more difficult this time."

The Wire 4.11.2012

Dover rep. to run for state Senate

Fosters Daily Democrat 4.4.2012
State Rep. Watters to seek state Senate seat

Fosters Daily Democrat 3.27.2012
Dover Democrats eat spaghetti, talk about fall elections


A Man of Many Talents

David Watters prepares the salad in his role as chief chef for the Dover Democrats' spaghetti dinner just prior to announcing his candidacy for the New Hampshire Senate.

Campaign Photo by Debbie Bodell

Union Leader 3.27.2102

Watters announces for state Senate

WMUR Political Scoop 3.2.2012
"Dover: With State Rep. David Watters about to throw his hat in the ring for the newly created State Senate district four, it could mean that Dover will have it’s first State Senator since before Madbury’s Jeanne Shaheen defeated Dover’s Frank Torr in 1990, 22 years ago."

Foster's Daily Democrat 2.10.2012
Speaking at a public hearing in Dover on the EPA decision to lower nitrogen discharge limits from the city's wastewater treatment plant.

"State Rep. David Watters, D-Dover, stressed that another few hundred dollars from the wallets of city sewer uses each year will put them in a place where they have to go without medicine,  and other household and every day necessities.

"The taxpayers' dollars are not an endless resource," said Watters.

He called the Adaptive Management Plan suggested by the Great Bay Coalition communities "extraordinary," and urged the EPA to strongly consider it as an alternative method of addressing the declining health of the estuary."

UNH Media Relations 3.10.2011
Watters Appointed To Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission