- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A special election to replace longtime Executive Councilor Ray Burton in New Hampshire’s North Country was still too close to call late Tuesday night.

Democrat Michael Cryans and Republican Joe Kenney faced off Tuesday in a special election for the vast District One seat left vacant when Burton died in November. Spokesmen for both said results were too close to determine a winner as of 11 p.m. Tuesday and official results won’t be available until at least Wednesday afternoon, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

About 264,000 people live in the 108-town district that stretches from just north of Concord to the Canadian border and includes the White Mountains and the Lakes Region.

The state’s five executive councilors are elected every two years. They work with the governor to approve state contracts worth more than $10,000 and weigh in on the appointment of judges and commissioners. Each is paid $15,169.44 a year.

Cryans, 63, has been a banker, teacher and Grafton County commissioner. Kenney, 53, has been in the Marines and reserves for 30 years and has served in both chambers of the state Legislature.

Cryans is from Hanover and Kenney from Wakefield. Both candidates said they would uphold the Burton legacy of strong constituent service and agreed that the two key issues facing the North Country are repairing roads and bridges and attracting jobs: Do the first, they say, and the second will follow. The Executive Council oversees a 10-year master plan for transportation projects in the state.

As of Jan. 21, the district counted 53,017 registered Republicans, 45,632 Democrats and 80,742 voters who did not declare a party, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

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