Robert A. Baines

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Robert A. Baines (born 1946) is a former mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire. He served in that office from 2000 - 2006. A Democrat, he was first elected in November 1999, defeating incumbent Republican Raymond Wieczorek. Manchester mayoral elections are held every other year - in his last successful bid for the office, he was elected by over two-thirds of the voters. He was defeated by Republican Alderman Frank Guinta on November 8, 2005.


Baines grew up in Manchester and earned his bachelor's degree in music education from Keene State College located in Keene, NH in 1968. He earned his master's in school administration in 1976 from Rivier College; he has done additional graduate study at the University of New Hampshire. He married his wife, Maureen, in 1974.

From 1968 to 1977 he was first a music teacher in a Hudson, New Hampshire high school before becoming assistant principal in the same school. 1980 saw Baines become principal of Manchester High School West, a position he was to hold until 1999, when he became mayor.

Baines is father of three children - Timothy, Christina, and Catherine. He is grandfather of Jacob and Lucas Miller (sons of Christina and Michael Miller).

On July 21, 2006, Baines underwent surgery at Elliot Hospital in Manchester to remove a blockage in his colon. It was later [1] revealed to have been a cancerous growth.

He has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Secondary School Principals and was a trustee and executive in residence at Southern New Hampshire University. In June 2007 Baines was named interim president of Chester College of New England, a position he was slated to hold for one year while the college searched for a replacement for former college president William Nevious [2]. He was subsequently named president of the college and held that position until 2012. The Board of Trustees made the decision to close the college because of declining enrollment. He is presently the Director of STEAM Ahead in NH, an educational initiative based in Manchester that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The project is supported by Dyn and SilverTech and is a collaboration with the Manchester School District, Manchester High School WEST, Manchester Community College and the University System of New Hampshire.

Political career and distinctions[edit]

Baines served two terms on the Manchester Board of Schools Committee in the early 1970s. He was a member of the 39th Army Band, New Hampshire National Guard from 1970 to 1976, and was awarded the New Hampshire Principal of the Year in 1990. 1996 saw him receive the Educator of the Year award from the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. In 2004 and 2005, he was named one of New Hampshire's "Ten Most Powerful People" by Business NH Magazine. As noted above, he was elected mayor of the city of Manchester in 1999, and reelected in 2001 and 2003. He was defeated in a dramatic upset in 2005 after being harshly criticized for several years of consecutive property tax increases.

Baines was a trustee for the University System of New Hampshire.

On May 11, 2007, a New Hampshire Union Leader blog reported that Baines said he will not seek elected office again.[3]

The Manchester rock band Moes Haven wrote a song called "Bring Back Bob Baines" in their 2006 album "September: In Manchvegas."

Electoral history[edit]

Manchester Mayoral Election 1999
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Robert A. Baines 12,159 51.8
Republican Raymond J. Wieczorek (Incumbent) 11,327 48.2
Manchester Mayoral Election 2001
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Robert A. Baines (Incumbent) 12,321 57.3 + 5.5
Republican Richard H. Girard 9,187 42.7
Manchester Mayoral Election 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Robert A. Baines (Incumbent) 11,742 66.7 + 9.4
Republican Carlos Gonzales 5,106 29.0
Democratic Bob Shaw 745 4.2
  • Note: Bob Shaw was a write-in candidate who happened to be affiliated with the Democratic Party.
Manchester Mayoral Election 2005
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Frank Guinta 10,125 51.3
Democratic Robert A. Baines (Incumbent) 9,597 48.7 - 18.0

External links and references[edit]