New Hampshire State Senator, Molly Kelly, won her fourth consecutive term in the Nov. 6 election, beating out opponent Richard Foote by winning 66 percent of New Hampshire’s votes.
“We’re positive we won this,” Senator Kelly said confidently Tuesday night at the Cheshire Democrat Party prior to her victory.
Senator Molly Kelly is the Senator for New Hampshire’s tenth district. Along with Keene, the tenth district includes 14 other towns in the surrounding area. Kelly is currently serving as a member on the Senate’s committees of Transportation, Health and Human Services and Education, according to her website, mollykelly.com.
According to nhsenatedemocrats.org, she is involved with the Healthy New Hampshire Foundation, New Hampshire State Commission on the State of Women and Home Care Association of Keene. Kelly has also been an active member of the Monadnock United Way, Keene Downtown Revitalization Corporation, Keene Chamber of Commerce and the Keene Rotary.
At the Democratic Party, held at Ramuntos Pizza in Keene, Kelly made a beeline for young voters. Upon arrival, the members of the Democratic Party were applauding and chanting he name. Kelly entered the room with a smile and hugged many of her supporters. “We won,” Kelly announced.
Chair of the Cheshire County Democrats, Sam Hawkes and New Hampshire State Representative Gladys Johnsen were present at the Democratic celebration to show support for Kelly’s victory. Hawkes said he “loves” Kelly and said she is one of the “most capable leaders.”
“I try to kind of model her,” Representative Johnsen said.
At the party, Kelly said she is going to “continue the work [she] has started for the last six years.” This work includes economic issues and jobs. Kelly sponsored a bill that created more jobs for small businesses in New Hampshire by encouraging advanced manufacturing and promoting environmental sustainability. She also supported the New Hampshire Working Program which prevented layoffs, expanded unemployment benefits, and added funds to job trainings, according to mollykelly.com. Kelly also sponsored a bill that was passed in the Senate (24-0) that lowers energy costs for New Hampshire businesses.
When it comes to health issues, Kelly supports the use of medical marijuana, and strengthened the Healthy Kids Corporations which provides affordable health insurance to the people of New Hampshire. Kelly also supports women’s rights to make their own reproductive and healthcare decisions.
Arguably, Kelly’s biggest support goes to the education system of New Hampshire. According to her website, Kelly supported Senate Bill 18, which ensured all students graduate from high school or continue their education until age 18. This resulted in a 30 percent decline in dropout rates in one year. She also co-sponsored and passed an anti-bullying bill which protects students from bullying and cyber bullying. Lastly, she sponsored and passed the School Accountability Bill which ensured adequate schooling for children of New Hampshire and ended a 20 year challenge that held back the state from focusing on other issues.
In her upcoming term, Kelly said she is going to focus some of her education work on college students, especially those who attend KSC. Kelly said she wants to gain back the funding that has KSC lost in the previous years. She also wants to freeze the tuition right where it is. “You are our future,” Senator Kelly said.
Kelly was seeking a lot of support from her hometown. According to mollykelly.com, she has been a resident here in Keene for the last 28 years. She attended Keene State College where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1983. Later, Kelly earned a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center, a neighboring school of KSC.
According to nhsenatedemocrats.com, once graduated with her law degree, Kelly became the director at Franklin Pierce College’s Keene campus. She later became the director for Monadnock Hospice, a place for people suffering from terminal illnesses.