Union Leader: Stephen Announces He’s in Race for Executive Council

Union Leader: Stephen Announces He’s in Race for Executive Council

Vowing to hold “unelected bureaucrats accountable,” former Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen of Manchester announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the Executive Council seat held by retiring Councilor Ted Gatsas.

Stephen, 61, formed The Stephen Group, a health care consulting group, after he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Democrat John Lynch in the 2010 governor’s race.

The state is facing a critical time financially, Stephen said.

After years of solid growth, state revenues are beginning to flatten and New Hampshire will have to learn to do without hundreds of millions of federal grants received in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“We need a strong fiscal conservative on the council that is going to watch every penny like we had with Ted Gatsas,” Stephen said during an interview.

“The priority is to protect the taxpayers and not see them as piggy banks as well. Taxpayers have seen value; they know how to tighten the belt and we have to stay focused on cutting waste in state government.”

A married father of two, Stephen served for four years as commissioner at HHS, the largest state governmental agency. Previously, he worked as an assistant commissioner in the state Department of Safety and as an assistant attorney general and a past Hillsborough County prosecutor.

Stephen got his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and law degree from the Detroit College of Law.

Stephen’s firm has worked on contracts with many states including Texas, South Carolina, Arkansas and Florida.

Union Leader

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