The race for mayor has begun in the city of Keene, with two candidates having filed. The elections are scheduled to take place Nov. 7 and primary elections are set for Oct. 3, according to the City of Keene website.

Bill “Bradford” Hutchinson

Life-long City of Keene resident Bill “Bradford” Hutchinson filed to

run for the upcoming November mayoral election.

Hutchinson has ran several times for different positions in the city

government over the years since the late 1980s.

He said he is not running on one specific issue but rather wants to

listen to the people and businesses’ problems as they come to him.

“I don’t really see reality as a list of priorities,” Hutchinson said. “I see things in terms of relationships.”

He explained if there is an issue with traffic, parking, business or other affairs, he wants to first understand who they are or what it is before he can try to tackle the problem. By understanding the business, he is able to understand the solution.

However, he noted his desire to loosen restrictions on business in Keene.

“City Hall as a whole has a well-deserved reputation for being an obstacle for local small businesses,” he said. “… I think there are a lot of people that are tired of obstructionism from the government.”

Hutchinson said he decided to make the step to run for mayor because he said he wanted the office space. He noted the location of the office is one of the best in Keene. He added that he needs the stipend that the mayors receive and to “meet women.”  

“… But mostly I’m doing it seriously; just because I’m making a joke, doesn’t mean I’m not serious about the joke that I’m making,” Hutchinson said.

Although he noted earlier in the interview with The Equinox that he was not doing it to meet women his age, but said since Jay Kahn – his opponent – is married, winning the mayorship could make him the most “eligible bachelor in Keene.” 

“Is this a viable way to meet them?” Hutchinson added. “Like that’s not why I’m doing it, I’m not doing this to meet women … but how personal can I get with my campaign? How personal is Jay Kahn going to get?” 

He said this is his year to become mayor. He noted he has been studying, preparing and training to be able to take office. 

However, Hutchinson acknowledged that his opponent, Kahn, has advantages over himself. 

“I can’t pretend I have a suit and tie and a wife and kids and a millionaire house in west Keene … my representation goes all the way to the bottom,” Hutchinson said. 

He said he does not believe Kahn is in touch with the lower class of the city.

“Any positive qualities that Jay Kahn brings, I also bring that positive quality and more so,” Hutchinson added. 

Hutchinson also acknowledged the expensive housing and rent in Keene but said it was “intentional by design” with the real estate companies.  He further explained housing issues in Keene as gentrification – displacement of lower-income residents by upper/middle-class people buying and restoring property.

He said while the mayor’s powers might be limited, he is able to speak with people to help make a change and let people know what is going on.

One goal he has, if elected mayor, would be to set up office hours for people to stop by and talk.

“I want the mayor’s office to be as open and accessible as I can possibly make it,” Hutchinson said.


Tim Bruns can be contacted at

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