Longtime Nashua State Rep. Roland LaPlante, D-Nashua, has resigned his seat. His letter of resignation, citing health reasons, was read at the Statehouse Feb. 20.
"Roland's been sick for a couple of months, and he's not going to get better, not at his age. He'll miss it very much," said his wife, Sally LaPlante, by phone. "We're sorry he can't continue, but you can't go on and do this when you are dealing with health issues. They need to get somebody else in there. He doesn't really know when he'll be back."
Timing is everything, when it comes to consideration of holding a special election, required to replace LaPlante, 79, said City Clerk Paul Bergeron.
The news of LaPlante's resignation comes just one day after a special election was held in Ward 4, to a Democrat, who resigned just weeks after being elected.
Democrat Pam Brown was elected Feb. 19 over Republican Elizabeth vanTwuyver by 36 votes in a race that brought 370 voters to the polls. Cost to the city was about $2,200, according to Bergeron.
"It doesn't make a lot of sense if the seat will end up being filled just before or after the close of the current session," Bergeron said.
The process to replace a state representative begins once the Secretary of State is officially notified. Then, the Board of Aldermen would have to be officially notified, which would take up to seven days.
Then, Aldermen would have to discuss the matter during their first meeting in March and vote to request a special election be held, which requires a letter be sent to the Governor and Executive Council, Bergeron said.
"Now, we would be into the third or fourth week of March, which means the soonest an election could be held is 63 days later, which would take us to late May or early June – and this session is over end of June," said Bergeron.
More likely is that the city will decide to hold the special election in November to coincide with city elections, and whoever wins will be seated in time for the next legislative session, Bergeron said.