by Debbie Bodell
Tom Southworth is the returning Democratic candidate for Strafford District 20, Wards 3 and 4.
Tom has spent 43 years as a reading teacher, school counselor, and administrator. He was recruited to be a Selectman for Ward 4 when the city needed someone to fill the position, and, after testifying in Concord against “some bad education” bills, he was asked if he wanted to be on the other side of the table and run for state representative. Tom said “yes” and won his seat in 2014. He has been on the Ways and Means Committee since his first election.
One word that describes Tom is dedicated. Tom shows this when he says, “Once I have a cause, it's mine.” This dedication is evident in Tom’s continued support of Dover schools as a member of the High School Visioning Committee. He continues to fight for funding for city employees.
A phrase that describes Tom is down to earth. Tom finds his commonsense approach to challenges serves him well.
During his time in the State House, Tom has voted to reinstate NH's contribution to the state employee retirement system. The change would save Dover over $1,000,000 per year. He also voted to block a school voucher program and supported a bill to ban conversion therapy.
Tom says the most critical issue facing the state in the next session is addressing the upcoming budget cuts due to the pandemic. He is clear that we need to find new revenue sources. Areas he would like to continue to explore include closing loopholes, adding a high-income capital gains tax, increasing tolls and instituting a gas tax.
According to Tom, other important issues to be addressed in 2021 include cleaning up education funds issues, fixing our state roads and bridges, and ensuring bad legislation is blocked. Tom also noted the importance of electing a new governor and reelecting the Dover Democratic state representatives.
Tom’s favorite ice cream flavor is Barnacle Billy’s French Vanilla Chocolate Chip. In his spare time, Tom likes hiking, reading, and water sports.
Debbie is a Dover Democrat and activist. Her favorite ice cream is Cowlicks' Chocolate Lover.