Member Candidate Heath Seeks Third Term

We’re proud of the many SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member candidates for state office this fall. In the next two weeks, we’ll feature some who are facing primary challenges in the Sept. 13 statewide primary.

House candidate Mary Heath, a former state employee and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member.

House candidate Mary Heath, a former state employee and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member.

Rep. Mary Heath of Manchester, a former teacher and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member at the Department of Education, is seeking her second full term in the House of Representatives in Hillsborough District 14 (she won a special election for her House seat in her first bid for public office). This year, Heath and fellow District 14 Rep. Mary Frietas — who’s also been endorsed by SEA/SEIU Local 1984 — are facing a primary challenge.

Heath, now retired, had a long career working in education, including as a teacher in Manchester, deputy commissioner with the state Department of Education and as dean of the School of Education at Southern New Hampshire University. In her time in the State House, she’s worked to support public employees and educational accessibility in the Granite State.

“I’m doing this because I believe we have to have people in Concord with an informed voice about the issues, especially when it comes to workers and education,” Heath said.

Having that voice in the State House is essential, Heath said, something she knows all too well as a former state employee.

“I’ve watched as Neal Kurk and others try hard to take away as much as they can from state workers, who do those jobs under what are not always the best circumstances,” she said. “It bothers me so much.”

Politics, you may know, runs in Heath’s family. Her mother was a state representative for 10 years, her father was a state senator who ran for governor in 1968, and her sister, Kathy Sullivan, was the state Democratic Party Chair.

“My family has been involved in politics for as I can remember,” Heath said, recalling campaigning for Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic nominee for president in 1952, and having John F. Kennedy, then a senator, and Jacqueline Kennedy visit her house. “It’s been a long journey and my family has always encouraged us to give back to our country and to our state.”

Heath said if re-elected she’ll continue to stand up for New Hampshire working people, and she’ll work to maintain women’s health rights, ensure all districts get adequate funding for all-day kindergarten, look to keep college tuition affordable and continue the expansion of Medicaid.

“It’s just something I feel is my responsibility,” she said.

You can see SEA/SEIU Local 1984’s full list of endorsed candidates here.

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